While studying Glossadelphus at the British Museum I came across a specimen described by Hampe (1872) as Hypnum littorale. Fleischer (1923, p. 1261) suggested it belonged in Glossadelphus but failed to make the transfer. Since then the name has gone unused except in various catalogs and listings in which no specimens were seen. It apparently has not been recollected (Touw, 1978) despite its relatively large size. However, even if it had been found, its determination would have been hindered by its association with Glossadelphus. The plants have only a nomenclatural attachment to Glossadelphus (Wijk & Margadant, 1965), certainly no morphological similarity. The species is characterized by erect-spreading ovate leaves that are serrulate almost throughout. The alar region, although small, is distinctly differentiated with the cells enlarged in the extreme basal leaf angles. The setae are relatively short and bear small, erect capsules with rostrate opercula.
There is currently no genus to accommodate this species. With the kind and generous consultation of Dr. Naoki Nishimura, the Hypnaceae were surveyed, but without profit. (This is why, however, Leiodontium was studied.) Although lacking many features of the Sematophyllaceae, such as inflated alar cells, collenchymatous exothecial cells and furrowed exostome teeth, the family was also considered because of the relatively small sporophytes and rostrate opercula. However, this avenue was also futile.
Therefore, I am proposing a new genus for this attractive plant. It is with pleasure that I name this new genus after Dr. Georg Ernst Ludwig Hampe (1795-1880), one ofthe true masters of 19th century bryology. H e was, as stated by Ferdinand von Mueller (in Mitten, 1882), a "Nestor in botanic science."
Type and only known species: Hampeohypnum littorale (Hampe) Buck.