Hair Cap Moss

hair cap moss


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Common Hair Cap Moss

(Polytrichum Commune)

Interesting Information: This is one of the most common plants found around the world.  It grows natively on almost every continent and is the most widely used decorative moss in landscaping.  It has also been used as decorative material on New Zealand Maori cloaks by being woven into the fabric.  This was done because it was thought that is provided extra insulation and decoration.  The leaves have also been used to make brushes and broom, and woven or plaited into mats, rugs, baskets, and hassocks.  A hair cap moss taken from a Roman fort in Newstead, England dated back to 86 AD.  Teas made from this species of moss have been consumed to relieve and dissolve gall bladder and kidney stones.  A strong brewed from common hair cap moss was used as a rinse for women’s hair to strengthen and beautify the tresses.  In general mosses have many different uses.  Moss is a major component of peat, which is mined for use as a fuel, as a horticultural soil additive, and in smoking malt in the production of Scotch whiskey. 

Common Name: Common Hair Cap Mass

Scientific Name: Polytrichum Commune

Family Name:  Polytrichaceae  (Moss Family)

Continent of Origin: Pangaea, Most Continents

Most Distinguishing Morphological Features of this Plant: Low growing ground cover that is unique to mosses and is distinguishable from all other species of plants.

Plant Growth Habit: Ground Cover

Height at Maturity: Less than 1 a foot

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Herbaceous That Stays Green Through Winter

Growth Habit: Prefers partial Sun, But Can Grow Practically Anywhere

Edge of Leaf: Serrated

Manner of Culture: Native Species

Type of Leaf: Less than Length of Credit Card

Leaf Complexity: Flat, Thin Leaf

Length of Leaf: Simple

Shape of Leaf: Simple

Leaf Arrangement: Whorled

Leaf Hairiness: No Hair

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green

Change in Color of Foliage in October: No Change

Is the Plant Poisonous: None of the Plant

Pesty Plant: No

Common Name: Moss


Page Prepared By:


Kathryne Blair

December, 2006

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