Bruch & Schimper

Bryol. Europ. 2: 7. 1856 ,.

Etymology: For Ignaz Seliger, 1752–1812, Silesian pastor
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 27. Treatment on page 320. Mentioned on page 327, 381.

Plants of calcareous rocks, light green to black. Alar cells not differentiated to colored and enlarged. Sexual condition autoicous. Capsule smooth; annulus ill-formed; peristome teeth smooth. Calyptra cucullate.


North America, Europe, Asia, Pacific Islands (New Zealand), Australia.


Species ca. 20 (13 in the flora).

Seligeria is characterized as tiny acrocarpous plants, with more or less ovate, smooth capsules and linear-lanceolate leaves, and a calcareous substrate as habitat. Seligeria trifaria (Bridel) Lindberg is excluded.


1 Capsule without a peristome, margins of leaf in proximal 1/3 denticulate. Seligeria donniana
1 Capsule with a peristome, margins subentire to entire > 2
2 Spores 17-30 µm > 3
2 Spores 10-16 µm > 5
3 Spores (20-)23-30 µm; peristome of 16 reduced teeth, each of 5-8 cells. Seligeria oelandica
3 Spores 17-25(-27) µm; peristome of 16 fully developed teeth > 4
4 Capsule ovate, sometimes with flaring mouth when old and dry; seta 2-3 mm; columella short, not persistent, not attached to opercula; leaves spreading- recurved, evenly spaced around stem, not trifarious Seligeria polaris
4 Capsule turbinate when old and dry; seta 1-1.5 mm; columella elongate with opercula tending to remain attached; leaves often trifarious. Seligeria tristichoides
5 Costa excurrent, filling subulate apex > 6
5 Costa (except in perichaetial leaves) ending just before apex, lamina present into apex > 9
6 Seta curved 30-90° when wet. Seligeria recurvata
6 Seta straight when wet > 7
7 Leaves wiry, stiffly flexuose, long-subulate, light green to dull-green; cells of leaf lamina longer than broad, pellucid; seta less than 1 mm; capsule turbinate when old, emergent. Seligeria careyana
7 Leaves recurved-twisted to stiffly erect, stoutly subulate from a wide base, dark-green to black; cells of distal leaf lamina usually as wide as long, opaque; seta greater than 1 mm; capsule ± ovate to oblong when old, emergent to exserted > 8
8 Leaves stiffly-erect when dry; plants dark-green, gregarious; spores 14-16 µm; capsule contracted to seta through a wrinkled neck when old; eastern North America. Seligeria calcarea
8 Leaves twisted when dry; plants blackish, forming turfs; spores 10-14 µm; capsule ± sharply contracted to seta when old; western North America. Seligeria subimmersa
9 Plants olive green to dark green; cells of distal leaf lamina ± opaque, usually as broad as long; leaves oblong to lanceolate; capsule ovate to oblong, not clearly widest at mouth > 10
9 Plants light green; cells of leaf lamina pellucid, tending to be longer than broad; vegetative leaves linear, sometimes ± subulate; capsule turbinate to obovate, widest at mouth > 11
10 Leaves curved and loosely arranged when dry, narrowed to obtuse, plane, erect acumen; perichaetial leaves usually not clasping, similar to vegetative leaves; capsule wider at middle than at mouth; seta thin, curved 30-90° when wet. Seligeria campylopoda
10 Leaves stiffly erect when dry, narrowed to an obtuse, incurved, channeled acumen; perichaetial leaves clasping and rapidly narrowed to stout subula; capsule ± as wide at middle as at mouth; seta ± thick, straight to slightly curved when wet. Seligeria diversifolia
11 Perichaetial leaves subulate from an ovate, sheathing base, abruptly differentiated from vegetative leaves. Seligeria acutifolia
11 Perichaetial and vegetative leaves similar, sometimes distal leaves larger, but always similar to proximal leaves in shape > 12
12 Leaves short, ligulate; apex broadly acute to obtuse; capsule ± pyriform when old; peristome large. Seligeria brevifolia
12 Leaves long, subulate; apex narrowly acute; capsule obovate to pyriform when old; peristome small. Seligeria pusilla