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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus BOTRYOGLOSSUM Kützing 1843: 446.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Thallus erect, irregularly divided into long branches more-or-less linear or expanding upwards, 4–20 mm broad, margin entire or irregular; midrib present or indistinct; microscopic veins present or absent. Holdfast fibrous. Structure. Growth marginal, without distinct apical cells, blades monostromatic at first, soon becoming tristromatic and polystromatic in older parts or midribs, with cortical cells equivalent to primary cells which remain as a distinct central layer.

Reproduction: Reproductive organs borne in small proliferous bladelets on the surface or margins of the branches. Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps scattered on both surfaces, with 2 fertile pericentral (supporting) cells, one on each surface, with two sterile groups and a 4-celled carpogonial branch; carposporophyte with a basal fusion cell and much branched gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia. Cystocarps scattered, swollen, ostiolate, pericarp of anticlinal tiers of cells. Spermatangial sori on both sides of the bladelets, with cortical cells dividing anticlinally to a plate of small initials, each producing several elongate spermatangia.

Tetrasporangial sori with two layers of tetrasporangia, cut off mainly from inner cortical cells and covered irregularly by further cortical cells.

Type species: B. platycarpum (Turner) Kützing 1843: 446.

Taxonomic notes: A genus of 2 or 3 species (Wagner 1954, p. 325), the type from South Africa and B. cartilagineum mainly from Western Australia. B. farlowianum from Pacific N. America was regarded as a synonym of Cryptopleura ruprechtiana by Wynne (1987, p. 225).

The above generic description is based largely on Wagner's (1954) account of the type species.

The Australian species differs from the type in not having microscopical veins, and is also unknown for gametophytes; clearly it merits fuller investigation.


KÜTZING, F.T. (1843). Phycologia generalis. (Leipzig.)

WAGNER, F.S. (1954). Contributions to the morphology of the Delesseriaceae. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 27, 279–346.

WYNNE, M.J. (1987). Records and notes on Alaskan marine algae II. Contr. Univ. Michigan Herb. 16, 223–232.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID complete list of references.

Author: H. B. S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 February, 2003)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIID. Ceramiales – Delesseriaceae, Sarcomeniaceae, Rhodomelaceae
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID 2003, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

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