Tree Moss (Climacium americanum)

Tree Moss

By William T. Hathaway

In a swampy area a little bit north of Spring Garden in Pittsylvania County I ran across this Tree Moss (Climacium americanum). Its growing site was well established on a half-floating rotten log. On handling the moss I was surprised to observe that the moss displayed a tree-like habit — fortunately, a habit that made the moss identification fairly easy.

With a relatively inexpensive microscope, studying the mosses that surround us is a satisfying hobby. There are plenty of moss species around us, and they are easily collected and preserved. Unlike working with most botanical specimens, studying mosses can be a wintertime, fun-type occupation.

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