There are innumerable cool facts about moss.
1. Moss was the first plant on earth. Algae adapted to life on earth…evolving into lichen, liverworts and moss.
2. Mosses live all over the world. There are over 10,000 species of moss worldwide.
3. Mosses tend to grow in moist places, but some species are drought tolerant and cold tolerant.
4. Mosses don’t have roots.
5. Mosses are anchored to earth, rock, trees by rhizoids which look like tiny roots. The rhizoids are a thread like structure but don’t absorb water or nutrients.
6. Mosses get their nutrients from rainwater, dew, fog and sunlight. They may get nutrients from the top layer of soil, if they are touching it.
7. Mosses don’t produce pollen, seeds or flowers. They reproduce via spores.
8. Mosses grow in a wider range of light exposures than other plants, from bright to dark.
9. Mosses have been used over the centuries as pillow stuffing, wound dressing and diapers. It is not used as a human food to the best of my knowledge.
10. Mosses collectively provide more carbon offset than all the trees in the world.
Karen Nierlich is the author of the book Moss and Lichen and takes photos around the San Francisco Bay Area.
She also curates a collection of forest-inspired jewelry and gifts for nature lovers at shop.iheartmoss.com.