Sphagnum Moss

Bryophytes

Description

Sphagnum mosses are the amazingly multi-coloured living carpets found in wet places like peat bogs, marshland, heath and moorland. When seen up close, they are very beautiful, but they also play a very important role in the creation of peat bogs: they hold water in their spongy forms long after the surrounding soil has dried out. In this way, they provide essential nutrients to the soil and help to prevent the decay of organic matter which gets compressed over hundreds of years to form peat.

There are at least ten species of Sphagnum moss in the UK, which are very difficult to tell apart. These species range in colour from red and pink, to orange and green. Sphagnum mosses are very small, but they grow together in close proximity forming spongy carpets; 'hummocks' are created when the mosses grow together to form mounds up to a metre high.

Spahgnum Moss.  Photograph by Tim Walter.

Share this page

Did you know?...

There are lots of ways that you can get involved!



What's going on?

News

17
apr

Boglife trainee placement

We are looking for trainees for the Marches Mosses BogLIFE project.

09
apr

BogLIFE newsletter

To read the latest BogLIFE, please click on the image below.

Get involved

Events

29
apr

Amphibian and reptile hunt

Discover the amazing world of amphibians and reptiles; how to search for them see where they live and how they survive. Come and get an early start on what pro...

05
may

Birds of the Mosses Walk

Observe some of the bird species that thrive on the Mosses.