Field of Science

Mugshot of a Moss

Based on a comment from last week I decided to introduce Polytrichum commune, the common hair capped moss (hairy cap not pictured). This species can be found in wet areas of yards or meadows across North America and beyond. I discovered this individual growing in a wet spot next to a picnic shelter. This species is easily recognized by its stout appearance and star shaped spray of leaves, which can be seen when viewed from above. The individuals are pretty large as far as mosses go. The one pictured here is about 4cm tall and they can reach heights of 30cm or more. However those that I have seen around Connecticut are usually not skyscraper sized and range from 4 to 10cm. This is a species that I run across nearly every time I am out looking at mosses.


  1. Hey! I didn't know that thing was a moss. I see those all the time. I think.

  2. Hairy cap not pictured! C'mon ...

  3. I will put the hairy cap on my list of moss parts to photograph. Stay tuned.

  4. I posted news of your blog on the state birder list-serve this morning. A couple of people emailed me to say thanks for letting them know and how cool it was that you were doing this ... so the audience is growing.

  5. Hi.
    I'm interested in the mushrooms that grow in moss. I find one called the "Grayling" in Hair Cap moss. Cantharellula umbonata. If you know of other mushrooms in moss I would like to hear.

  6. Chris: Thanks for spreading the word about my MossBlog. It is totally appreciated.


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