Sphagnum moss growing wild

gessiegirl(z7AR)February 26, 2006

I've seen a moss growing wild here in central Arkansas in bog areas and along creeks and springs which looks, for the life of me, exactly like sphagnum peat moss. I haven't been able to find anything in a google search to tell me if sphagnum moss might grow wild here. And if it does, I wonder if it would it have just originated from potting soils washing into the area from a nearby nursery or home or if it is indegnous to the South. I'd certainly appreciate any answers to my quesitons. Thanks so much.

Betty Ferguson

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Hi Betty!

Finding a species of Sphagnum moss in Arkansas is not hard to believe. These plants are often thought of as bog plants, but in fact they can be found in just about any place that stays continuously wet. They have been found in all types of bogs of course, but also in fens, forested swamps, marshes, on the margins of lakes, ponds, and streams, in moorlands, on mountain top swamps, on wet sands, or even growing aquatically. IÂm sure that somewhere there even exists an epiphytic species! YouÂd be surprised just how many places these mosses grow. The underlying issue is a constant water supply that is basically mineral free.

Being of very old origins, they are found literally all around the world. The largest concentrations are in the northern hemisphere bog lands, but they can be found just about anywhere. Here is a nice little overview of the Sphagnum family:

Sphagnum Family

In case you were wondering how diverse these plants are, consider the Sphagnum species found in the state of New Jersey:

New Jersey Sphagnum List

ThatÂs a lot of diversity!

So the answer to your question is, yes, it is very likely you have found Sphagnum growing naturally in your area.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 8:02AM
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