Field of Science

Winter Mosses

A friend of mine recently moved to Virginia and on a hike in the Shenandoah National Park she spotted some mosses growing on boulders in the winter snow. Since I still have not taken any moss photos this winter, I decided to share hers on the blog.

This rock looks to have some type of Orthotrichaceae with brown sporophytes left over from last season. There also appears to be some Dicranum sp. in the lower left of the photo. These are just my best guess given what I can make out from the photo.

For this photo I am not sure what type of moss is in the lower center of the photo. Would anyone like to hazard a guess? As for the large patch of lighter green moss, I would bet money that is a species of Thuidium.

Thanks for sending the photos Em!


  1. very cool! I am so glad to have found your blog. I have a very hard time identifying the mosses I use in my terrariums.

  2. Cool blog! Could the mystery moss be some kind of Hedwigia?

    1. Hedwigia is a pretty good guess. It is the right color and shape to be in that genus.


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