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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus EPIGLOSSUM Kützing 1849: 878

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Amansieae

Thallus erect, much branched from the midrib for 3–5 orders, branches linear, flat, 2–5 (–9) mm broad, with an inconspicuous midrib, the surface bare or densely covered with short, ovate, flat, determinate proliferations; apex of branches rounded, recurved. Holdfast discoid to crustose. Structure. Apical cell exerted on the rounded apex or in a slight cleft, axial cells with 5 pericentral cells and 2–4 pseudopericentral cells, medulla 2–3 cells thick with larger central cells, cortex 1–2 cells thick, with secondary cortication over the midrib. Branching adventitious. Trichoblasts absent apart from reproduction.

Reproduction: Reproductive organs borne on short erect branches on the surface or on the midrib. Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne in series on reduced trichoblasts on erect shoots, rapidly polysiphonous and pericarpic. Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and much-branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia. Cystocarps ovoid, stalked, pericarp ostiolate and corticated, 5–10 cells thick. Spermatangial organs on reduced trichoblasts, with a sterile basal cell, ovoid, clustered on erect shoots.

Stichidia on the erect shoots, simple, curved, compressed, with two tetrasporangia per segment, corticated.

Type species: E. smithiae (Hooker & Harvey) Kützing 1849: 878.

Taxonomic notes: A genus of two species, resurrected by Phillips (2002b) as distinct from Lenormandia in apical structure, surface appearance (lacking rhombic areolation), and 18SrDNA sequences.


KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

PHILLIPS, L.E. (2002b). Taxonomy of Adamsiella L.E. Phillips et W.A. Nelson, gen. nov. and Epiglossum Kützing (Rhodomelaceae, Ceramiales). J. Phycol. 38, 209–229.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & L.E. Phillips

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.


1. Branch surface densely covered with small, flat, determinate proliferations; reproductive shoots on blade surfaces

E. smithiae

1. Branch surface devoid of proliferations; reproductive shoots borne mainly on the midrib

E. proliferum

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