sphagnum moss

(Sphagnum spp.)

               
Overview

Sphagnum moss, also called peat moss, is one of the major components of peat. It has a worldwide distribution, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. In Minnesota it occurs in the northern and eastern two-thirds of the state west of the Prairie Parkland and from the Metro Region north. It grows in peat bogs, swamps, wet depressions in woodlands, and other wet habitats. It colonizes and often dominates nutrient-poor areas where other plants can’t survive.

sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)

  Photo by Luciearl
 

There are about 380 species of sphagnum moss worldwide, more than 100 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 27 species in Minnesota.

Identification

Sphagnum moss has a main stem with branches in tight bundles (fascicles) of 3 or more. The fascicles are arranged spirally arranged around the stem, and usually have both spreading and hanging branches. The stem and branches are covered with unlobed, photosynthesizing leaves. The leaves are also arranged spirally around the stem or branch. There is usually a tuft (capitulum) of young branches at the tip of the stem. The lower part of the plant is dead and decomposing.

Identification of many species requires a stereo microscope. Many species can be identified in the field, but this often requires close examination with a hand lens with 20X magnification.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 10, 24, 29, 30.

 
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Taxonomy

No Rank:

Bryophyta (mosses)

 

No Rank:

Sphagnophytina (Moss Superclass II)

 

Class:

Sphagnopsida

 

Order:

Sphagnales

 

Family:

Sphagnaceae

 

Genus:

Sphagnum

 
Subordinate Taxa

brown peatmoss (Sphagnum fuscum)

central peatmoss (Sphagnum centrale)

chrome peatmoss (Sphagnum squarrosum)

fen peatmoss (Sphagnum warnstorfii)

fringed bogmoss (Sphagnum fimbriatum)

Girgensohn’s peatmoss (Sphagnum girgensohnii)

greater peatmoss (Sphagnum majus)

Magellan’s peatmoss (Sphagnum magellanicum)

narrowleaf peatmoss (Sphagnum angustifolium)

northern peatmoss (Sphagnum capillifolium)

orange peatmoss (Sphagnum subsecundum)

papillose peatmoss (Sphagnum papillosum)

red peatmoss (Sphagnum rubellum)

rigid bogmoss (Sphagnum teres)

Russow’s peatmoss (Sphagnum russowii)

Wulf’s peatmoss (Sphagnum wulfianum)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

peat moss

sphagnum moss

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Costa

On ferns: The central axis of a pinna, to which pinnules are attached. On mosses: the central axis (midvein) of a leaf. On insects: The leading edge of the forewing.

 

Fascicle

A small bundle or cluster, often sheathed at the base, as with pine needles.

 

 

 

 

       
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Luciearl
       
  sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)   sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)
       
  sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)   sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)
       
  sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)    
       
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  sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)   sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)
       

 

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Other Videos
 
  Sphagnum Moss
Nepenthesis
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 13, 2012

How to grow SPHAGNUM MOSS! Sphagnum moss holds up to 20 times its own weight in water and is ESSENTIAL for many soil mixes intended to hold lots of moisture! In this video you'll learn how to grow your own.

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  Boreal Forest Part 2 Sphagnum Moss
EastWoodlandSurvival
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 5, 2013

Identifying Sphagnum Moss and some video of the Spruce Moose Forest of Western Alberta Canada.

   
       

 

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Luciearl
3/30/2020

Location: Cass County

sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)


Luciearl
2/23/2018

Location: Lake Shore, MN, Cass County

sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.)


     
     
 
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