Philonotis hastata (Duby) Wijk & Marg., Taxon 8: 74. 1959.
Hypnum hastatum Duby in Mor., Syst. Verz. 132. 1846. Protologue: Java. Ad rupes abruptas juxta fl. Tjapus, 2000 ad 4000 ped. [Zollinger] 1813.
Bartramia amblyoblasta C. Müll., Linnaea 38: 631. 1874. Philonotis amblyoblasta (C. Müll.) Jaeg., Ber. Thätigk. St. Gallischen Naturwiss. Ges. 1873-74: 81. 1875. Protologue: Mexico, ad saxa madida prope cataractas fluminis Rio Huatusco, 5000 pedes alta: C. Mohr Sptbr. 1857; in rivulis montosis prope Mexico: L. Hahn 1865 et 1868.
Plants small, in loose or dense, glaucous green to yellowish green, glossy tufts, to10 mm high. Stems reddish brown to brown; rhizoids at base, reddish brown, smooth. Leaves 0.8–1.4 mm long, widely-spaced, erect when dry, erect to erect-spreading when wet, oblong-lanceolate; apices acute to obtuse; margins narrowly revolute below, singly or doubly serrate; costae subpercurrent to percurrent, papillose at back; cells smooth or weakly papillose at upper cell ends, upper cells short-rectangular to nearly quadrate, oblong to rhomboidal, lax, 20–45 x 10–15 μm, basal cells near costa enlarged, long-rectangular to rhomboidal, to 50 x 15 μm, outer basal cells short-rectangular, alar cells quadrate in 3–4 rows. Dioicous. Perigonia gemmiform. Setae 15–25 mm long, red, flexuose. Capsules 1–2 mm long, reddish brown, ovoid to subglobose, inclined, smooth, longitudinally wrinkled or weakly furrowed; exothecial cells firm-walled; opercula 0.5 mm long, conic‑mammillate; peristome double, exostome teeth red, narrowly triangular, outer surface finely papillose below, coarsely papillose near tips, trabeculae thin, inner surface smooth, trabeculae thick, endostome not seen. Spores reniform, 17–25 μm, papillose.
7. Philonotis hastata (Duby) Wijk & Marg. 密叶泽藓 mi ye ze xian Taxon 8: 74. 1959. Hypnum hastatum Duby in Moritzi, Syst. Verz. 132. 1846. Type: Indonesia. Java, Zollinger s.n. Bartramia imbricatula (Mitt.) C. Müll., Linnaea 36: 12. 1869. Philonotis imbricatula Mitt., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot., Suppl. 1: 61. 1859. Philonotis laxissima Mitt., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot., Suppl. 1: 61. 1859, nom. illeg. Philonotis papillatomarginata J.-X. Luo & P.-C. Wu, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 18(1): 123. 1980. Type: China. Xizang, Mo-tuo (Medog) Co., Xizang Exped. Team 80 (holotype PE). Philonotis vitrea Herz. & Nog., J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 14: 62. 1955. Plants small, slender, yellowish green, glossy, in loose tufts. Stems erect, 1–2 cm high, usually simple, sometimes sparsely branched, with dense, brownish rhizoids at base. Leaves appressed when dry, erect-spreading when moist, oblong-lanceolate, narrowly oblong-ovate or nearly triangular-ovate at base, ca. 1.0 mm × 0.4 mm, acute or narrowly obtuse at apex, broadest near the base, not decurrent; margins plane or slightly recurved above, papillosely denticulate above mid-leaf, entire below; costae percurrent or ending below the apex; upper leaf cells subquadrate or shortly rectangular, smooth or weakly papillose at upper cell ends; median cells rectangular to elongate-rhomboidal; basal cells rectangular, ca. 40 µm × 20 µm, rather hyaline. Dioicous. Setae 1.5–2.0 cm long; capsules spherical or subglobose, inclined, weakly furrowed when dry. Spores not seen.
The species is identified by its generally short, ovate to ovate-lanceolate leaves with acute apices, costa ending below the apex and bluntly crenulate leaf margins. The species is, however, quite variable, especially in leaf length and shape of the apex. It could be confused with P. dregeana, but that species has regularly narrow-rectangular laminal cells, narrower leaves and costa short-excurrent. The type of P. obtusata was examined and found to differ in having rounded apices. Some of the leaves on the same stem were either obtuse or rarely almost acute, therefore it was concluded that the rounded apices represent only an environmental modification; a few southern African specimens also exhibit the same modification.
Plants small, loosely caespitose, light green to yellow-green; terricolous or saxicolous. Stems 10-20(-30) mm long, infrequently branched; in section round, central strand present, inner cortical cells in 2-3 rows, thin-walled, outer cortical cells in 2-3 rows, thickened, reddish or yellowish, epidermal cells quickly eroded. Leaves appressed dry, erect-spreading wet; ovate-lanceolate to ovate-acute, 0.4-1.2 mm long; apex acute to occasionally broadly acuminate or rarely rounded; margins plane to occasionally reflexed, coarsely crenulate by projecting cell ends. Costa ending below apex or occasionally percurrent in some leaves; superficial cells rectangular, weakly prorate; in section bulging dorsally, guide cells 2, incrassate, ventral cells in single layer, ± larger than guide cells, thin-walled, dorsal cells in small group of 4-6 cells, incrassate, dorsal surface cells slightly larger than ventral cells, thin-walled. Laminal cells rectangular to weakly oblong-hexagonal, 2-4:1, thin-walled, occasionally some quadrate, smooth or occasionally weakly prorate-papillose; basal cells more regularly quadrate or infrequently short-rectangular, smooth. Only single immature capsule seen; perichaetia terminal; seta 16 mm long; capsule horizontal, globose, 2.2 mm long; exothecial cells short-rectangular, weakly thickened; operculum convex.
Plants small, loosely caespitose. Stems 10-30 mm long. Leaves appressed when dry, ovate-lanceolate to ovate-acute, 0.4-1.2 mm long; apex mostly acute; margins coarsely crenulate by projecting cells ends; costa ending below to percurrent. Upper laminal cells ± rectangular, smooth or weakly prorate-papillose; basal cells short-rectangular. Capsules rare, horizontal, globose.
Mesic Grassland; Zastron Moist Grassland. On wet soil or rock.
Philonotis hastata is found in southern Asia, Australia and Oceania, South and Central America, eastern and southern Africa, Madagascar and a few of the East African Islands. In southern Africa, the species is most frequently collected in Natal, Zululand and the eastern Transvaal. Specimens have also been collected in the central and southern Transvaal, Swaziland, eastern Orange Free State, Lesotho, Transkei, the eastern, southern and southwestern Cape and Botswana.