Ulota germana is an epiphytic moss moderately common in oceanic areas of Patagonia (southern South America), one of the regions of the world where Ulota reaches a peak of diversity. It is easily recognized by very long perichaetial leaves, which reach the capsule when wet, an endostome of eight segments and verrucose spores. In Nikolajs Malta's revision of South American Ulota, a species was described under this name with apparently similar long perichaetial leaves and spores but with a 16-segment endostome, an uncommon character in this genus. No further references to this particular combination of traits are found throughout the literature of South American Ulota. In the same work, Malta also published U. germana var. breviseta. During the study of recent Patagonian collections, a moss similar to that described by Malta was repeatedly found, living together with U. germana s.str. To ascertain the name and taxonomic identity of the new specimens and Malta's moss, a detailed morphological comparative study was carried out. Original material of relevant names was analyzed, demonstrating that the gatherings on which those names are based were usually a mixture of several species, thus resulting in nomenclatural confusion. Having established that the plants described by Malta at both specific and varietal ranks are not U. germana, we formally describe them as U. maltiana with a complete description and illustration. Ulota germana s.str. is also illustrated for comparison. The reasons behind Malta's error are discussed. We demonstrate that the previous typification of U. germana was incorrect, and propose a new lectotypification for this species and for U. germana var. breviseta.
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Vol. 123 • No. 2