Plant Guide > Mosses and Lichens > Mosses > Polytrichaceae


PolytrichaceaeThe Polytrichaceae form a large family which has been divided into some three tribes, nine genera, and about two hundred species, if the plants of the whole world are considered.

The species are often of large size and are probably the most highly developed of all the mosses. One may look for the American species by roadside banks, in fields and open woods.

They grow in conspicuous patches and may be easily recognised by their mitrate or hood-like veils, their long wiry pedicels, their regularly cylindrical or angular spore-cases with mouths covered by a thin membrane bordered with 32 or 64 blunt teeth, and by their firm and rigid leaves with delicate vertical blades of cells (lamellae) on the upper surface.