Botany Blog Plants of the Northeastern U.S.

April 24, 2010

Dendroid Moss

Filed under: North American Native Plants,Seedless Plants — admin @ 23:36

Climacium dendroides, or Tree Moss, is one of the largest mosses found in North America. Often found in dense stands, it is also one of the most attractive mosses when wet.

Climacium dendroides

April 18, 2010

Seedless Plants

Filed under: Seedless Plants — admin @ 02:44

I recently added an index of seedless plants to the database of plants on Plants of the Northeastern U.S. This is intended to make it easier to find pages related to ferns, horsetails, clubmosses, mosses, and liverworts. There are still quite a few mosses to be added, including Bryum argenteum (below).

Bryum argenteum

This species is easily identified as it grows in very short, dense colonies and has a silvery overall appearance. It is common in dry, open areas like driveways and sidewalks.

April 15, 2010

Chara gametangia

Filed under: Algae — admin @ 22:18

Earlier this spring I collected some samples of algae for my botany class to observe and managed a small sample of Chara, also known as muskgrass, to put in the lab. It has been growing well with frequent water changes and has developed lots of the reproductive structures called gametangia (structures that produce gametes, or sperm and eggs). The type of gametangia that produce sperm are called antheridia and are seen as the bright orange structures in image below.

Chara antheridia

And here is a closeup of an antheridium

Chara antheridium

 Somewhat less abundant are the oogonia, where eggs are produced and where fertilization takes place.  The oogonia on this particular specimen have an interesting twist to them, although I do not know if this is typical of all Chara spp. or just this one.

Chara gametangia

April 11, 2010

Moss Antheridia

Filed under: Seedless Plants — admin @ 18:06

This is a closeup of a moss shoot tip bearing a slash cup filled with antheridia (male reproductive structures). The function of the splash cup is to use the momentum of rain drops to disperse the sperm contained within the antheridia.

Splash Cup

And here is a closeup of the interior of the splash cup.


April 10, 2010

Red Maples in Bloom

Filed under: North American Native Plants,Uncategorized — admin @ 00:35

One of the more attractive trees in flower now in central NY is red maple (Acer rubrum). It is common in acid woodlands and swamps and has perfect flowers that range from yellow to red.

Red Maple

Red Maple Flowers

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