Photo ©200 Kurt Stüber
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Photo ©2008 Aconcagua
Cypress leaved plait moss - Hypnum cupressiforme
Family - Hypnaceae
Also known as - Cypress plait-moss or Hypnum moss
Many thanks to Kay Newbury at Reading University for the identification of this moss species - Hypnum cupressiforme.
Common and widespread found almost worldwide except Antarctica in a variety of habitats, typically growing on tree trunks, logs, walls, rocks and other surfaces preferring acidic environments and reasonably tolerant of pollution. Small to medium-sized moss about 2-10cm (0.8-4in) long. Pleurocarpous with prostrate creeping stems forming dense mats. Stems are branched and covered with overlapping leaves 1.0-2.1mm (0.04-0.08in) long tapering towards the tip, give the impression of a cypress tree. This moss produces cylindrical and slightly curved capsules 1.7-2.4mm (0.07-0.095in) long which contain the spores which are borne on reddish-brown stalks. Dioecious (separate male ♂ and female ♀ plants) this moss is a highly variable species with numerous varieties. Hypnum cupressiforme was formerly used as a filling for pillows and mattresses, deriving the origin of the genus name Hypnum (from the Greek Hypnos) and is's association with sleep.
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