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Re: Amano at the convention and "the moss"

> > I see the logic behind the AGA position. Loh wants to send me a bunch of
> > Christmas moss .........

> You can
> probably even write anything you want in the "name" field......

Erik, it might be interesting to ask Amano (through his interpreter) just
exactly what the scientific name of that "moss" is, how he determined it,
and where it comes from. I don't care _what_ people call it as a common
name, but it doesn't have the same growth pattern of any Fontinalis or
Vesicularia I have ever seen.

It IS a very beautiful little moss, and it deserves to be in wider
distribution - Loh is to be commended for sending it out to so many people.
I have been searching on the Internet for days looking for identity "keys"
to the various Fontinalis and Vesicularia species, and although I have found
several, they usually only go to the Genus level and every site seems to
make reference to the fact that you need a microscope to be able to
positively identify many mosses to the species level and it REALLY helps to
know where the moss was originally collected from. The Genus Vesicularia has
a much more restricted range that the Genus Fontinalis and they are even
placed by scientists in different Orders (Fontinalis is in the Order
Brayles, while Vesicularia is in the Order Hypnobrales).

Additionally, Fontinalis antipyretica is cosmopolitan in distribution and
there are many subspecies in different countries. Knowing where the plants
originated could help with a more positive ID. While the Genus Vesicularia
is found in both North and South America, no occurences of V. dubyana have
been recorded here and even the sole recorded occurance of V. amphibola is
noted by Crum as probably an exotic collected in a greenhouse or nursery.

Claus Christensen thinks that it is a variant of V. dubyana, but his
attempts to have a scientist identify it were not successful.

Since Amano makes such frequent use of the plant, maybe he has access to
information that we don't. It certainly can't hurt to ask.

James Purchase

P.S. - Has any thought/discussion been given to videotaping the various
lectures at the conference and then selling the tapes through the AGA? It
would be a big boost for those who will be unable to get to it in person.

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