Neckera

Family: Neckeraceae(de), Order: Neckerales(de)

The plants of this genus are rather typical members of the family: They form very glossy turfs on trees or rocks. The plants are mostly simply or double pinnate. Flagella, i.e. small breeding branches with thin leaves, often exist.

The leaves of the plants of this genus are lingulate, in most cases with a short, clearly distinguished tip. A midrib doesn't exist or is very short and double. The cells of the blade are long in the lower part of the leaf, and shorter in the upper part.

Worldwide there are nearly 100 species. In Europe there are only 6.

Neckera crispa Hedw.

This is certainly the most remarcable european species of the genus. It is very easy to recognize by its very undulate leaves and its robust habit: The plants normally reach lengths of between 5cm and 20cm, and are 5mm broad. The single leaves are 3-5mm long. The plants are colored bright green until deep green.

The capsules are raised above the plant on a long seta.

The plants preferably form enormous turfs on barc of trees or on calciferous rocks. In calciferous mountains the species is very frequent, and more rare otherwise. In the flatlands it seems to be absent.

Neckera crispa

Neckera crispa on a tree trunk somewhere near the Bodensee (in southern germany).

Neckera complanata (Hedw.) Hüb.

Neckera complanata

Neckera complanata at a somewhat shady location on a wall of the ruin Montfort near Bad Kreuznach (germany). Unfortunately the picture is not very good because of the strong gloss of the plant.

Together with Neckera crispa this is the most frequent species in central Europe. The leaves of this species are not undulate. The end in a short, clearly distinguished tip. The plants seem to be not as robust as the preceding species, because they are only about 3mm broad. But the stems can reach lengths of about 15cm too. In most cases they are 5-10cm long. The plants form very glossy, in most cases silver or bright grey-green turfs. Flagella are very common in this species.

The capsule of this species too is raised far above the leaves.

The species can be found in regions of the northern hemisphere with moderate climate. In central Europa it is common in calciferous mountains. Otherwise it is more rare, but not absent. It grows preferably on rocks, sometimes on barc.

by Michael Becker, 4/2001. Translated: 4/2002:
Last modification: 4/2001.