Field of Science

Mosses in the News

Mosses were featured in the New York Times, Home and Garden section last week in an article entitled "Moss Makes a Lush, No-Care Lawn" By Jancee Dunn. It is a nice article and features some fun pictures such as moss growing on an old pair of gym shoes! I have seen mosses growing on a number of discarded items in the woods, but this is the funniest one that I have seen. She talks about the increasing use of mosses in landscaping and gardening in the eastern United States.

They also feature some mosses of Connecticut and mention a local farm that sells moss for use in landscaping and gardening. I have talked about this farm in a previous blog post. It is the Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown, Connecticut.

There is one fact issue in this article. They state "There are approximately 12,000 varieties of moss in North America ... ". Now I am not sure what they mean by 'varieties'. Do they just mean species, or species and sub-species, or is it really vague and maybe they are talking about all the different color varieties moss comes in? I am not sure what they really meant but basically they got their value wrong. The latest numbers are that there are 12,000-15,000 moss species worldwide! North America has many fewer. The latest treatment on the mosses of North America is through the Flora of North America Association. The three volumes on North American bryophytes will cover 1,900 mosses, liverworts and hornworts, with probably about 1200 to 1500 of those being mosses. So the NYT article might just have been off by one zero, but that order of magnitude makes a huge difference in the number!

Otherwise the article is well-written and talks about moss gardening from a variety of angles. I would highly recommend reading this article if you are thinking about gardening with moss. It might just get you hooked.


  1. Hey, that's the article I was going to send to you!

  2. I looked at my posting rate from April yesterday and felt that I needed to post more regularly. Then I remembered the article that you mentioned at the party at decided to look it up. Sorry that I scooped you before you had a chance to send it along. Thanks tons for the tip! It isn't often that moss makes the major newspapers.


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