Mosses

August 11, 2015

Life cycle

Mat-forming, mostly perennial spore-producing plants.

moss foliage
Moss on a soil surface.

General description

Low-growing plants with very small foliage that form dense clumps in shady, moist places. Clumps rang from dime-sized to several feet across. Some upright growth is possible, but plants usually reach only 0.25 to 1 inch in height. Plants have root-like rhizoids, which are not true roots but have similar functions. New plants form by vegetative reproduction and by spores released from capsules at the ends of leafless stalks. No true flowers or fruit are produced.

moss capsules moss capsules close-up
Moss capsules (left). Close-up of moss capsules (right).

Leaves

Densely and spirally arranged leaves are very small, 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and awl-shaped. They lack petioles.

moss foliage close-up
Close-up of moss foliage.

Stems

Slender, hair-like and highly branching.

Reproduction

Vegetatively and by spores.

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Related Topic Areas

Integrated Pest Management

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