Sphagnum subsecundum S11 Identification Card
Rather small, low growing to rather tall; various shades of yellow-brown variegated with orange (never deep red), green only in dense shade.
This is the dichotomous key with which the S11 culture was analyzed.
The images shown were made to the optical microscope by analyzing samples taken from culture S11.
For the full dichotomous key, read this blog
Cortical cells or branches (and usually at least the internal one of stems) with spiral fibrils. Apices of branch leaves blunt and hooded, appearing minutely roughened. On the convex surface due to projecting, partly resorbed, hyaline cells. Plants usually robust.
Section Sphagna 2
Cortical cells without fibrils. Branch leaf apices usually acute, truncate or, if hooded, then smooth on the convex surface. Plants robust or small.
Branch leaves large (more than 1.5 mm) and broad. Hyaline cells of upper mid-leaf romboid, not more than 5 times longer than wide. Stem cortex 2-or more layered. Photosynthetic cells oval in TS, immersed or almost so.
Branch leaves narrow or, if broad, then hyaline cells.long and narrow, more than 6 times as long as wide, and stem cortex usually 1-layered. Photosynthetic cells (except S. wulfianum) obviously exposed on one or both surfaces.
Fascicles of mature plants consisting of at least 7 (usually 8 or more) branches. Stem leaves small (less than 1.2 mm). Photosynthetic cells in TS, oval. Plants rigid with dense, acute branch leaves and conspicuously large capitula. A continental species of moderately wet coniferous forest
and, rarely; damp heath.
Section Polyclada Sphagnum wulfianum
Fascicles never with more than 7 (usually fewer than 6) branches. Stem leaves usually over 1.2 mm long. Photosynthetic cells in TS, triangular, trapezoid or barrel-shaped. Capitula small to well-developed.
Photosynthetic cells in TS, triangular or trapezoid with widest exposure on convex leaf surface, or ± barrel-shaped and ± equally exposed on both leaf surfaces. Plant, if small-leaved, not red.
Photosynthetic cells in TS, triangular or trapezoid with widest exposure on concave leaf surface. Includes small-leaved (ie under 1.6 mm long) red plants.
Section Acutifolia 34
Stem leaves large, lingulate, never fibrillose in mature plants; border not expanded below. Plants often robust, with large branch leaves that may be abruptly narrowed and reflexed at mid-leaf. Never red.
Section Squarrosa 11
Stem leaves various, if lingulate and efibrose, then with borders markedly expanded below. Branch leaves rarely squarrose. Plants sometimes red, then with very large (>2 mm long) branch leaves
Mature plants without branches or with, at most, 1-2 short, small-leaved branches per fascicle. Stem leaves much larger than branch leaves, overlapping and concealing stems. Leaves sometimes with resorption gaps but never with clearly defined pores. Plants purple to blackish or dark brown, rarely dull olive-green: ± aquatic: very rare in NW France and NW Spain.
Section Hemitheca Sphagnum pylaesii
Mature plants with well-developed fascicles, rarely of fewer than 3 branches (if fewer, then stem leaves not conspicuously larger than branch leaves, not concealing stems, or at least some branch leaves with clearly defined pores).
Branch leaf hyaline cells short and proportionately broad (less than 6 times as long as broad). Stem leaves almost as large as branch leaves, both ovate and concave. Branches appearing 'beaded' because of widely spaced, concave branch leaves. Plants small, delicate and pale green or yellowish. A common species of damp oligotrophic mires and wet heath.
Section Mollusca Sphagnum tenellum
Branch leaf hyaline cells long and narrow (at least 6 times as long as broad). Stem leaves various but, if similar to branch leaves, then plants not delicate. Branches not 'beaded' Plants mostly of medium size or robust.
Leaves from middle of branch, ovate, less than twice as long as wide, with broad, ± hooded apices (if narrower, then stem cortex with pores). Branch leaf hyaline cells with few to numerous small, normally
thick-ringed, pores along the commissures.on the convex or both leaf surfaces (very rarely only on the concave). Photosynthetic cells of branch leaves almost equally exposed on both leaf surfaces.
Section Subsecunda 15
Leaves from middle of branch, lanceolate, at least twice as long as wide, never with hooded apices (apices often apparently acute due to inrolled margins). Stem cortex never with pores. Branch leaf hyaline cells with pores various but rarely numerous on convex leaf surface, and then not normally along the commissures. Photosynthetic cells with much wider exposure on the convex leaf surface, often not reaching the concave surface.
15 - Section Subsecunda
Stem leaves ± as large as branch leaves, strongly fibrillose almost or quite to insertion. Stems pale, greenish, yellowish or pale brown, never dark brown or blackish. Plants medium-sized to robust, ± flaccid.
Stem leaves much smaller than the largest branch leaves, sometimes minute, fibrillose in the upper two-thirds at most. Stems pale or dark. Plants sometimes small.
Stem,cortex of 2 or more layers. Internal cylinder, of stems always pale, pale brown, never dark brown or blackish. Plants small-leaved.
Rare to locally frequent in eutrophic mires.
Stem cortex always single-layered. Internal cylinder of stem commonly dark brown or blackish, at least in part. Plants small or, large-leaved. Frequent to common in oligotrophic to mesotrophic mires or pools, on wet rocks or along seepage lines.
Stem leaves small (less than 1.2 mm long): fibrillose only near the apex (fibrils often incomplete, rarely absent). Branch leaves small, the lower usually curved, asymmetric and secund. Fascicles of fully developed plants with 5-6 .branches (if small-leaved but with .3-4 branches per fascicle and stem leaves fibrillose for more than one third of length, see S. auriculatum)
Sphagnum subsecundum subsp. subsecundum
Stem leaves at least 1.2 mm long: fibrillose at least in upper quarter and commonly to about two-thirds from apex. Branch leaves rarely under 1.3 mm long, the lower curved or straight. Fascicles of fully developed plants commonly with only 3 or 4 branches.
Fascicles of 3-4, rarely 5, branches. Branch leaves mostly symmetrical, ± suberect and convolute. Branches ± tumid, often curved and horn-like. Stem leaves lingulate to spatulate: fibrillose at least in upper third and often to below half-way. Hyaline cells of stem leaves with fewer pores on the adaxial surface than on the abaxial: abaxial pores often in regular rows along the commissures. Plants often very robust, sometimes tinged wine-red. Common in oligotrophic or mesotrophic hollows and pools, springs and seepage lines and on wet rocks.
At least some fascicles with 5 well-developed branches (except in weak plants). Branch leaves often curved and asymmetric near the branch bases, mostly erect-spreading. Branches rarely tumid, never curved and horn-like. Stem leaves triangular-lingulate, narrowed above the insertion: fibrillose one quarter to one third from apex, rarely to mid-leaf. Hyaline cells of stem leaves with more numerous pores on adaxial surface than on abaxial, or both surfaces multiporose. Plant often orange but never red. An uncommon species of mesotrophic mires and stream-sides.
Sphagnum subsecundum subsp. inundatum
Fig 1 - Branch stem
Fig 2 - Branch leaves
Fig 3 - Branch leave apex
Fig 4 - Branch leave transverse section
Fig 1 - Fascicules
Fig 1 - Leaves disposition on branches
Fig 1 - Capitula
Fig 1 - Main stem
Fig 1 - Main stem transverse section
Fig 1 - Main stem cortex
Fig 1 - Stem leaves
Fig 1 - Stem leaves apex
Fig 1 - Stem leaves apical pores
Fig 1 - Stem leave basal detail
Fig 1 - Branch leave, ventral side, apical region.
Fig 1 - Branch leave, ventral side, basal region.
Fig 1 - Branch leave, dorsal side, apical region.
Fig 1 - Branch leave, dorsal side, basal region.