Andreaea subulata Harv. in Hook., Icon. Pl. Rar. 3: 201. 1840.
Type. South Africa, Cape of Good Hope, Harvey.Plants small, 1–2 cm high. Leaves blackish red, without a whitish bloom, falcate-secund, long-subulate from an ovate to oblong base, concave, 1–2 mm long, apices acute; margins plane; lamina unistratose; costa 0.33 to 0.5 the width of the leaf base, filling or nearly filling the subula at midleaf; median leaf cells short rectangular to quadrate, 10–12 µm, very thick-walled with rounded lumina, not pitted; lower leaf cells rectangular 16–18 µm long, very thick-walled, pitted, yellowish. Perichaetial leaves sheathing, convolute. Sporophytes not seen in Central America.
The small size of the plants and the costate, ovate-subulate leaves will place A. subulata. Occasionally high-altitude, rock-growing specimens of Grimmia apocarpa have been mistaken for this species. These specimens are also frequently small and reddish brown, but the larger leaves with broader apices and sinuolate leaf cells should separate these specimens.
Plants medium-sized, loosely caespitose, brown-green to black-green or red-brown; saxicolous. Stems 10-20 mm long, irregularly branched; in section round, central strand absent, inner cortical cells in 3 rows, slightly thickened, outer cortical cells in 3 rows, smaller, incrassate. Leaves falcate-secund to almost circinate wet or dry; oval to oblong, long-subulate, 2.0-2.5(-3.0) mm long; margins plane, entire. Costa wide, filling subula; in proximal section flattened, cells in 2 rows, undifferentiated, strongly thickened; lamina unistratose; in distal section reniform, internal cells in 2-4, rows, small strongly thickened, dorsal and ventral surface cells thin-walled; lamina bistratose. Upper laminal cells rounded-quadrate, incrassate, bulging dorsally, smooth ventrally; basal juxtacostal cells rectangular. Perichaetia terminal; leaves sheathing, convolute, oval, short-acuminate to acute, 3.0-3.5 mm long. Pseudopodia light green, 2 mm long; capsules immersed to emergent, elliptical-apiculate, 1.0-1.2 mm long, red brown, dehiscence slits extending from base to apex; spores round, 25-35 µm, yellow, reticulate-papillose.
Originally described from a specimen collected by Harvey on Table Mountain, A. subulata has subsequently been collected on the East African Islands and in Australia, New Zealand and southern South America. The species has been re-collected several times in the Flora area, but only on Table Mountain.