Species: Intermediate Screw-moss (Syntrichia intermedia (montana))

Family: Mosses (POTTIACEAE)

Category: Non-Flowering Plants

Location: One Sighting

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. Intermediate Screw-moss (Syntrichia intermedia (montana))

Intermediate Screw-moss has leaves that are spirally twisted or incurved when dry. The leaves are narrowed at the half-way point, the lower half having recurved margins. It prefers calcareous substrates such as rocks or mortar in walls. In the cemetery it has been found on the flat top of gravestones.

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.

Images

Intermediate Screw-moss

Intermediate Screw-moss likes calcareous substrates such as rocks or mortar in walls.

Intermediate Screw-moss

Intermediate Screw-moss is found in Heene Cemetery on the flat top of a gravestone. (Paper clip included for scale.)

Intermediate Screw-moss

Intermediate Screw-moss has silver-white hairs protruding from the tips of its leaves. The larger form in the bottom-left of this photo is Intermediate Screw-moss. (A paperclip is shown for scale.)