Weymouthia (plant)

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Bryophyta
Class: Bryopsida
Subclass: Bryidae
Order: Hypnales
Family: "Lembophyllaceae"
Genus: Weymouthia
Broth. in H.G.A. Engler & K.A.E. Prantl, 1906[1]
  • W. mollis (Hedw., 1801) (Type) synonyms Isothecium molle, Leskea mollis, Meteorium molle, Neckera mollis, Pilotrichella mollis, P. weymouthii, Stereodon mollis
  • W. cochlearifolia (Schwägr., 1816) synonyms W. billardierei, W. cochlearifolia var. billardierei, Coelidium cochlearifolium, Hypnum cochlearifolium, Isothecium cochlearifolium, Lembophyllum cochlearifolium, Neckera billardierei, Porotrichum cochlearifolium, Pilotrichella billardierei, Stereodon cochlearifolius

Weymouthia is a genus of two species belonging to the feather mosses. Weymouthia occurs in southern South America, New Zealand and south-eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. It is characterised by (i) its monopodial, often hanging growth form; (ii) slight differences between stem and branch leaves; and (iii) the straight perichaetial leaves. In contrast to other genera in the Lembophyllaceae, secondary stems appear unable to arch back to the substrate and then root and form a new creeping stem.[1]


Weymouthia was named in honour of William Anderson Weymouth (1842–1932), a prominent Tasmanian botanist.[1] The species epithet mollis meaning soft, flabby, weak or feeble in Latin, refers to the exclusively hanging branches in this species. The species epithet cochlearifolia refers to the spoon-shaped leaves that resemble those of scurvy-grass.


Weymouthia has traditionally been assigned to the Meteoriaceae, mainly because of the hanging branches. Later the genus was included in the Lembophyllaceae,[1] but according to recent cladistic analyses based on DNA, this family is polyphyletic, and its revision is to be expected.[2]

Key to the species[edit]

1 Leaves oblong, more than twice as long as wide; upper laminal cells not or shallowly pitted. → Weymouthia mollis
- Leaves broadly ovate, less than twice as long as wide; upper laminal cells strongly pitted. → Weymouthia cochlearifolia[1]

Links to photos[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Klazenga, N.; Milne, J. "Australian Mosses Online. 30. Lembophyllaceae: Weymouthia.(2012)" (PDF). Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Merget, Benjamin; Wolf, Matthias (2010). "A molecular phylogeny of Hypnales (Bryophyta) inferred from ITS2 sequence-structure data". BMC Research Notes. 3: 320. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-320.