Bryum argenteum

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Bryum argenteum is more commonly known as Silver Moss.

Taxonomy and Systematics

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Bryophyta

Class: Bryopsida

Order: Bryales

Family: Bryaceae

Genus: Bryum

Species: Bryum argenteum

Descriptive notes

Silvery to pale green plants stand upright, often forked, usually no more than 1 cm tall, forming compact turfs that are velvety to the touch. Leaves are so tightly packed and overlapping along stems that they give branches a wormlike aspect and hide red stems. Not much changed wet or dry. Leaves are tiny, around 1 mm long, and scale- or cup-shaped, with a sharp point at tip, sometimes extending as a short needle. Leaves are whitish-colorless near the tip, turning green near the base. Too small to see with a hand lens, the midrib ends below the tip. Edges are smooth. Capsules are elongated cylindrical or pear-shaped, 1-2 mm long and pink or reddish to brown, hanging upside down from 1 cm tall stalks. Lid is a shallow cone.

General Distribution and Habitat

Common in urban areas on a wide variety of substrates, including hard dry soils, gravel, sand, concrete, stone and brick walls, and roofs. Characteristic of cracks and seams in sidewalks and brick patios, along paths and railways, in gardens and fields.

Campus Distribution

Found on 5/27 growing in a long crack in an unshaded section of the middle of 1st Street.

Other notes


McKnight, K., Rohrer, J., Ward K., Perdrizet, W. (2013). Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians. Princeton Field Guides. Princeton University Press: Princeton & Oxford.

Gfredericks 20:07, 28 May 2013 (UTC)