Moss

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Moss is a little plant that often seems overlooked even though it grows almost everywhere. It does not have the showy flowers or great stature of other plants, in fact it is quite different.

Moss is non-vascular, meaning it does not have the means of carrying water and nutrients from one part of the plant to another. Instead moss absorbs water and nutrients from the air through its leaves and stems. It can absorb 20 times it’s weight in water. This is why moss made such great diaper material for the first nations people, and why it was used as bandages when regular bandages were not available in WWI, and it has the added bonus of being anti-bacterial.

Moss also lacks true roots and instead has root-like filaments that attach it to the surface it is growing on, but do not actually conduct water.

Research:

Find the answers to these questions and any others that you may have:

  1. Since moss does not produce flowers like most plants, how does it reproduce?
  2. Is a cushion of moss one plant or separate plants?

Here is a video that looks at the moss life-cycle under a microscope:

Books:

It was difficult to find picture books on this topic. I looked at several on American forests and most of them barely mentioned moss. But you may enjoy looking through this website which has heaps of wonderful information, paintings, and a little book on moss you can buy if you like: The World of Mosses.

Nature Journal:

Try to draw the moss life-cycle and note any interesting facts you have learned about moss.

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