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Exploring Rectolejeunea maxonii: A Captivating Moss in the Microscopic World

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_PTER_dryo_maxo_mex_212360.jpg from: https://plantidtools.fieldmuseum.org/pt/rrc/catalogue/398445

Exploring the Fascinating World of Rectolejeunea maxonii A.Evans Moss


Mosses are often overlooked, but they play crucial roles in ecosystems around the world. One particularly interesting species is Rectolejeunea maxonii A.Evans, a moss in the Lejeuneaceae family. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of this fascinating plant, from its morphology to its ecological importance.


Rectolejeunea maxonii A.Evans is a species of moss first described by Alexander William Evans in 1908. It belongs to the Lejeuneaceae family, which is the largest family of leafy liverworts, containing over 1000 species. The genus Rectolejeunea contains around 15 species found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

Morphology and Identification

R. maxonii is a small, delicate moss that forms dense mats on tree bark, rocks, and other surfaces. Its leaves are ovate to oblong, with rounded to obtuse apices. The underleaves are small and bifid (split in two). A key identifying feature is the presence of


medium.jpeg from: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/865948-Selenicereus-maxonii

ocelli, specialized hyaline cells scattered in the leaf lamina. The species is


_PTER_aspl_maxo_1986488.jpg from: https://plantidtools.fieldmuseum.org/en/rrc/catalogue/319965



6864a34c5a37a4d67fcc6024155c32d7.jpg from: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/lepanthes-maxonii–24769866685514545/

, meaning male and female reproductive structures are on separate plants.

Global Distribution and Habitat

This moss has a pantropical distribution, found in tropical regions of North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. It typically grows at low to middle elevations in moist, shaded habitats such as rainforests. R. maxonii is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other plants (usually trees) without parasitizing them.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Like other mosses, R. maxonii plays important roles in its ecosystem:


e2635537bc28e325447b121214620e0a–state-forest-puerto-rico.jpg from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/habitus-and-sori-of-the-fern-elaphoglossum-maxonii-carite-state-forest-eastcentral-puerto-rico–528187862526958899/

R. maxonii has several adaptations for its epiphytic lifestyle:



A-Pentagramma-triangularis-var-maxonii-Estes-Canyon-Ajo-Mountains-28-Feb-2005-photo.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/A-Pentagramma-triangularis-var-maxonii-Estes-Canyon-Ajo-Mountains-28-Feb-2005-photo_fig8_260709403

Rectolejeunea maxonii is a small but mighty moss with a fascinating biology and important ecological roles. Next time you’re in a tropical forest, take a closer look at the trees – you might just spot this unique species! What other secrets of the moss world remain to be uncovered?


5e6aba7e7d9c8caea53a004bed9e3cc8.jpg from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/lepanthes-maxonii-dracula-sp–501166264753440362/

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