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 Fay 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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