Common mosses in lawns

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Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (Springy turf-moss)

If you are a diligent applicant of lawn food and moss killer, then you may be unfortunate enough not to have any moss in your lawn, however most of us should be able to find some Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus nearby if not in our own gardens. The shoots of this pale green moss tend to grow fairly erect, and viewed from above, each shoot looks star-like, owing to the leaves sticking out at right-angles to the stem. From the side, you can see that each leaf bends back at a right angle to the base, so it sticks out away from the stem, and between the leaves you may be able to see that the stem is red.

Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus forms extensive turfs, often forcing other species out to form pure colonies.

For more information, visit the Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus species page.

Calliergonella cuspidata (Pointed spear-moss)

Calliergonella cuspidata prefers slightly moister conditions than Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus and has a preference for base-rich habitats. However, in some areas it is a common moss of lawns and parks, especially in shaded, damper areas. It is more of a green, or yellow-green colour than Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, and the shoots are usually more obviously branched.

As its common name suggests, the shoots of this species are pointed and spear-like; the leaves towards the stem tips are tightly rolled up to form a point. If you touch the point of the stem with a finger, you will find that they are quite sharp.

For more information, visit the Calliergonella cuspidata species page.