Timmia megapolitana

Here are some photos of the moss Timmia megapolitana, the species that I worked on for my Master's Thesis.  Its common name is the Indian Feather Moss, due to the calyptra that remains atop the sporophyte capsule, sticking up like a feather. (It really isn't a very politically correct common name. Maybe we could come up with something better. How about the Periscope Moss? Any other ideas?)

Anyway these are some photos that I took of the plants and my fieldsite out in Albany, New York. This was several years back and before I owned a digital camera. Thus the images are a little rough, since they are scans of prints. This species grows on calcium rich substrates. This area has a lot of limestone. The mosses grew on the sides of fissures in the rock (below right) or on the sides of small ledges (below left). I also found this species growing at an abandoned marble quarry in Vermont, another substrate that has a basic pH and is calcium rich. 


  1. Hi Jessica! I really enjoy your posts and the great photos you provide of these incredible plants. I'm a botany teacher and I also love mosses even though it is not my speciality. You have clarified lots of questions I have! Now I am curious about this moss... is that the caliptra pointing up?

  2. hi jessica, I need your help, I am an artist from dominican republic. i just got a commission to make a ceramic momument covered with moss. I have so many questions, where can I write to you?
    my mail is:
    warm love from to you from my tropical land,

  3. Candida - Yes it is a calyptra sticking up on the top of the sporophyte capsule. In this species the capsule breaks through the side of the calyptra as it curls and the calyptra end up staying attached to the sporophyte even after the spores are dispersed.

    Natalia - My contact info is, however I might not be the best person to offer advice when it comes to your project. You may want to consult with a landscaper or artist who has worked with mosses and stone structures.

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