Mosses are a fascinating division of plants distinct from more commonly recognized groups such as trees, grasses, and ferns. Mosses are also known as Bryophyta and are one among three groups of bryophytes, which are non-vascular plants with wholly enclosed reproductive systems. There are more than 14,000 species of Bryophyta that grow in an array of colors and can be found on all seven continents. While most species prefer damp and shaded environments - often woodlands - some mosses thrive in desert areas, as well as ice-covered regions such as Antarctica.
Mosses are typically 0.1–3.9 inches (0.2–10 cm) in height, though select species can grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. Bryophyta lack the root structure characteristic of many plants, instead attaching themselves to their environment via hairy protrusions called rhizoids. Most Bryophyta collect water and compounds through the air, using them in conjunction with the sun to create food by way of photosynthesis. Mosses don’t have flowers or seeds, but reproduce via spores.
Contrary to popular myth, mosses don’t just grow on the north side of trees, though many Bryophyta do avoid southern exposure due to the sun’s intense rays. Fallacious lore aside, there are actually some truly bizarre and amazing moss facts that surround these little, unassuming green clumps. So, with most of the basics out of the way, read on to take a deeper dive into some of the crazy things Bryophyta can do.
The First Land Plants Were Moss-Like
Mosses Might Have Triggered An Ice Age
Moss Leaves Are Only One Cell Thick
Mosses Can Extract Water From The AirVideo: YouTube
Moss Was Used To Heal Wounds During World War I
Moss Can Measure Air PollutionVideo: YouTube