Plant Guide > Mosses and Lichens > Mosses > Genus Schistostega

Genus Schistostega

Genus SchistostegaGenus SCHISTOSTEGA, Mohr

The Genus Schistostega contains but one species; this is found growing in bright-green patches on the ground in caverns and grottoes and under the shade of rocks.

The protonema is persistent, and shines with a weird light in the semi-darkness where it grows. The most striking character of the moss is the highly refractive power of the protonema cells. These are able to converge the feeble rays of light which enter the caves and grottoes so that they fall upon the chlorophyll grains and enable them by light-energy to build up plant foods from gases and water.

When searching for this moss one must be careful not to intercept the rays of light which enter the cave and then one may be fortunate enough to get the feebly reflected rays which emerge from it.

Schistostega Osmundacea