Nearly worldwide, montane tropical regions.
Genera 9 or 10, species ca. 420 (5 genera, 22 species in the flora).
Distinctive family characters of Bartramiaceae include the more or less globose, typically furrowed capsules and the narrow leaves with prorulose cells. The prorulae are usually eccentric over the lumen. Infrequently, most of the laminal cells are smooth (a condition often associated with submergence in boggy habitats) or, as in Plagiopus, the leaves develop a striated cuticle that can appear papillose in transverse section.
|1||Leaves in 5 distinct rows; distal laminal cells mammillose or ± smooth; rhizoids smooth; operculum rostrate; exostome teeth apically connate.||Conostomum|
|1||Leaves usually not in 5 rows (seriate-spiraled in Philonotis seriata); distal laminal cells striate, prorulose, papillose, or smooth; rhizoids papillose; operculum convex, conic, or umbonate; exostome teeth, when present, apically free||> 2|
|2||Leaves in 3 rows; distal laminal cells faintly striate.||Plagiopus|
|2||Leaves not in distinct rows or rarely in 5 rows; distal laminal cells prorulose, papillose, or rarely smooth||> 3|
|3||Stems with hyalodermis absent, epidermis prorulose; capsules irregularly wrinkled; w North America.||Anacolia|
|3||Stems with hyalodermis present, sometimes indistinct, epidermis not prorulose; capsules usually furrowed (irregularly wrinkled in Philonotis cernua); e North America, Greenland||> 4|
|4||Leaves 2- or 3-stratose; fertile plants lacking subfloral whorl of branches.||Bartramia|
|4||Leaves 1-stratose; fertile plants often with subfloral whorl of branches.||Philonotis|