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Symphysodontella madhusoodananii is characterised by very short, double costate, oblong-lanceolate, long acuminate leaves. It shows some similarities to Symphysodontella tortifolia Dixon in its long acuminate, complanate plicate leaves and some leaves being tortuose at tip. However, it differs in its oblong-lanceolate leaves, two distinct short costa in both main and secondary branch leaves and the leaves on main shoot and secondary branches being similar. It also differs having long drooping primary branches, short secondary branches and presence of copious flagelliform branches. Symphysodontella madhusoodananii also shows some similarity with Symphysodontella subulata Broth. in its two short-costate, ovate-lanceolate leaves, elongate-linear porose cells and yellowish brown stem attachment cells. However, it differs in cells being highly porose in its lateral wall and in the middle layer, the pores being rounded.
INDIA. Kerala, Malappuram district, Nilambur, New Amarambalam Reserve Forest (bordering Mukurti National Park of Tamil Nadu), epiphytic on trees of shola forest, 1200 m alt., K.P.Rajesh 106933 (Holotype: CALI! Isotypes: BM!, CAL!, CALI!, MBGS!, ZGC!).
Main stem long, creeping on bark, 3–5 cm long, scale leaves present, branches yellowish green to brownish, primary branch 5–7 cm long, secondary branches up to 2 cm long, mostly with flagelliform branches, flagella 2.5 cm long, erect to drooping, leaves oblong-lanceolate, lax erect-spreading, 2.5 × 0.9 mm, leaves on main shoot lax, ovate, long acuminate, acumen 0.9 mm long, two very short distinct costa at base, leaves on main shoot and secondary branches dense, patent to squarrose, complanate, plicate, tip tortuose in some leaves, long apiculate, margin denticulate at tip, recurved below, cells at acumen elongate linear, up to 50 µm long, thick walled above, middle cells 60–70 µm × 20–25 µm, less thick but with porose walls below, 35–45 µm × 28–35 µm, costa and cells at stem attachment yellowish brown, alar cells not prominently differentiated in size but with deep brown, rectangular porose cells, 40–45 × 25–35 µm, porose in some cells, leaf insertion to the stem is U shaped; cells at flagella almost same size and shape; sporophyte not seen (Figure 1 a–s).
It is distributed in the shola forests (Southern montane wet temperate forests) of New Amarambalam of Kerala and Mukuruty National Park of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats of India.
It was found growing as epiphytic on branches of trees of shola forest.
It is named in honour of Professor (Dr.) P.V. Madhusoodanan, for his meritorious contribution towards botany, especially on lower groups of plants of Southern India. He retired recently from the Department of Botany of University of Calicut, and now continues his research as an Emeritus Scientist in the Malabar Botanical Garden (MBG), Kozhikode. It is he who inspired the present authors to undertake studies on the bryophytes and pteridophytes.
- Manju, C; Rajesh, K; 2012: Symphysodontella madhusoodananii (Pterobryaceae, Moss) a new species from the Western Ghats of India PhytoKeys, 18: 39-44. doi