Sunday, May 23, 2010

Moss sporophytes

I don't know much about individual moss species in the Southern Appalachians, but I do know that it's a center of moss biodiversity. On a walk this afternoon in the NC Arboretum, we enjoyed a lovely oak-hickory forest along the Natural Garden Trail, with regenerating saplings of all sorts of trees (maples, oaks, hickories, sassafras, etc.) in the understory.

I noticed these striking mosses in their reproductive stage; mosses produce sporangia (spore-producing structures) in their sporophyte stage. (Their alternate gametophyte stage is leafy-looking, and what we think of as moss, even though they don't have true leaves).


  1. I love moss. I love looking at the structures, and I have to admit to loving touching moss.

  2. I got some photos last week of mosses that put up little umbrella like structures. Very cool.


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