Species: Common Pottia (Tortula truncata)

Family: Mosses (POTTIACEAE)

Category: Non-Flowering Plants

Location: Widespread

A. Non-Flowering Plants

More extensive information on non-flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Mosses (POTTIACEAE)

This is the largest family of mosses - of perhaps 1,500 species - which can be found in a range of habitats, especially on soil, rock, and rotting wood. (The other moss family, whose species can also be found in the Cemetery, is the family of Feather Mosses.)

C. Common Pottia (Tortula truncata)

The short stems bear dense clusters of oblong-elliptic leaves with a sharp tip. Often found on disturbed earth, such as on the rough gravel on graves in the cemetery.

Additional Information

Mosses

There are 763 species of British mosses, which are small, non-vascular plants forming dense green clumps or mats in damp or shady places. Perennial mosses are evergreen. Individual plants usually have simple leaves attached to a stem that may be branched or unbranched. Instead of roots, mosses have rhizoids. Mosses assist control of soil erosion by providing surface cover and by absorbing water. An important genus is Sphagnum, whose species form peat. Vast mires of moss lock up huge quantities of carbon, of vital importance in the mitigation of climate change.

Mosses reproduce by the release of spores from little capsules on short stalks. Most mosses have one of two growth forms. Acrocarp mosses grow upright, forming mats, with capsules on the tips of their shoots. Pleurocarp mosses have sprawling growth, with capsules on the sides of their shoots.

The Mosses of Heene Cemetery is a blog post on our website which gathers together photographs of all the species in the Cemetery - along with other interesting information about mosses.