The Erpodiaceae are considered here to be monogeneric, and to include c. 24 species from tropical and warm-temperate regions. The great rarity and geographically widely scattered occurrences of many species of Erpodium, including the one N.Z. species, suggest that this is an ancient genus of relictual distributions. Accordingly, E. glaucum is among the rarest and least documented moss species in the N.Z. flora. It is known from only three North I. (and one inshore island) localities, including a poorly documented pre-1848 type collection by W. Colenso. It is also recorded from Qld, N.S.W., Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. Such widely scattered distributions occur in many species of Erpodium. The plants of E. glaucum form loosely interwoven glaucous mats on bark and have ranked, dimorphic, and complanate leaves. This combination of features probably causes it to be overlooked as an hepatic when capsules are absent.
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