Mosses

Saturday, February 28th 2015

Mosses are non flowering plants.  They do not have a vascular system to transport water and nutrients and so prefer to grow where it is moist.  At this time of year, when it is damp and there is very little leaf canopy, mosses can easily be seen at Foxglove.  These small plants can be found on tree trunks and branches, on the ground and on log piles.  Where lichens have grown on stone and a small amount of substrate has accumulated, mosses will take root.  The roots are not like those of flowering plants, but are tiny and threadlike and are called rhizoides.

This feathery moss can be found along the banks of Risedale Beck.

Moss

When there is a lack of moisture, mosses can lose water and feel dry when touched.  Their appearance changes from bright green to dull green as this one on an Elder branch shows.

Dry moss on Elder

These two mosses are both growing on stone.

Moss on stone

Moss on stone

Mosses reproduce by spores and in damp conditions they begin to produce their spore capsules.  Each moss has a different shape of capsule.

Moss with spore cases

Unfortunately they are not the easiest of specimens to photograph and it is back to the drawing board to improve on these two!

Spore capsules on moss

Spore capsules on moss


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