In February after enjoying reading Leif Bersweden’s recent book Where the wild flowers grow I followed him on Instagram (@leifbersweden) in time to find him advocating us all having a closer look at mosses (#couchto10mosses).
Being early in the year I wasn’t out and about much but I did have a mooch around my own garden, and kept an eye open on my walk to work. I only managed three out of ten, but that’s three I wasn’t aware of before!
Wall screw-moss – Tortula muralis
This was easy to spot and ID from Leif’s explanation “it’s covered in reproductive stalks called sporophytes. The head on the sporophytes (called the capsule) looks like a chilli and sticks straight up into the air.” Surprisingly enough I found it growing on a wall – see top image.
Capillary thread-moss – Bryum capillare
This one was growing in my back garden on an old pallet I was using to make a compost heap. The red petals you can see are dried rose petals. Leif says “The sporophytes have red stems… At the top of each sporophyte there’s a nodding green head… Each tong-shaped leaf ends in a little hair.” For my moss I wouldn’t go as far as to say red stems, but maybe a pinkish tinge in the right light!
Common feather moss – Kindbergia praelonga
This one was growing in my lawn. Leif says “Its branches are spaced fairly regularly along the central stem making it look like a mini Christmas tree… Most branches are unbranched… The tiny leaves stick out, spreading away from their branches.”
I should say that Leif also provided multiple Instagram images for comparison, and tips as to how the mosses might be confused with other species.