MossesIf plants are small and green, with leafy stems, and have the habit of living in such close proximity as to form velvety cushions, (Ceratodon purpureum) one may suspect them of being mosses, but if they have this habit of growth, or grow in clusters resembling tiny ferns or miniature trees and bear their spores in little cases opening by lids, one may feel confident that they are the true mosses as distinguished from hepatics.
All true mosses produce their spores in a spore-case of one shape or another which opens, with few exceptions, by a lid. The spore-case may be situated at the summit of the stem of the moss-plant or on one side of the stem. It may or may not be supported upon a pedicel (seta).
Many species of moss have two rows of teeth about the rim of the spore-case, while some have one row and some have none. The teeth may vary greatly in shape and number; as a rule, there are four, sixteen, thrity-two or sixty-four.