Leskea polycarpa Ehrh.

Family: Leskeaceae(de); Order: Thuidiales(de)

This genus consists of slender, in most cases more or less regularly pinnate branched species. The leaves are thinly ovate at the base and longly or shortly acuminate at the tip. The cells of the blades are rounded hexagonal with few (in most cases one or two) papilles. The midrip is strong and ends in the tip of the leaf. The leaves are not serrate or denticulate, except sometimes at the tip, where they may be denticulate.

In total the genus consists of about 75 species (according to the view) on the northern hemisphere. In Europe there is only this single species.

Leskea polycarpa is a typical member of the genus. In this species the leaves are often a bit denticulate at the tip. At the base they are somewhat plicate. If the edge of the leaf is revolute, then only at the base. The capsule is erect and its operculum acute conical.

The species reaches a height of about 2-4cm. It forms light green or dirty green covers on shady places, preferably on wood and bark, but also on stone. It is not rare in the woods beside the larger rivers of the lowlands and their tributaries, whereas in the mountains it is rather rare.

Leskea polycarpa

A Leskea polycarpa turf on a horizontal branch of a poplar at the lower course of the Sieg (near Bonn, germany).

by Michael Becker, 9/2000. Translated: 2/2002:
Last modification: 9/20002.