Polytrichum Moss

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Polytritchum Moss – Polytrichum juniperinum is also called haircap moss, juniper moss, bird wheat, pigeon wheat and star moss.

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Polytrichum Moss - Hair Cap


Polytrichum Moss is commonly called hair cap moss or hair moss. It is a genus of approximately seventy species. The scientific botanical Latin name Polytrichum is derived from the Greek words "poly," meaning "many," and "thrix," meaning "hair." The moss grows very slowly to the austere height of 4-20cm. Like other mosses, it typically reflects the green spectrum of sunlight by itself appearing in shades of dark green.

As a result, Polytrichum produces a lush green moss carpet with an average lifespan of three to five years. It is ideal for covering those shady bare spots in your garden that receive indirect sunlight. The plant will withstand drought but may suffer some discoloration. Although mosses absorb water and make great soil stabilizers, you must be careful to avoid placing them in the path of water run-off before they are established.

Moss needs a fresh bed of ultra-smooth soil to establish. Quality of soil and pH are generally not a concern. Mosses set well on large smooth stones and tree trunks. But, it is best to plant a variety of shade-loving plants, and then surround them with moss as a living mulch. Mosses will grow year-round in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit if there are ample moisture and sunlight present.
Polystichum Moss, more commonly known as Hair Cap Moss, is one of the tallest and different looking mosses in the world. Hair Cap Moss takes its name from its distinctive hairs that cap the slender stalks. The strands can start as bright green and change to yellow, orange and red shades depending on the moisture content. The shiny spiked leaves that line the stalks of the moss create a lush green carpet that is excellent for holding soil in place on hillsides to prevent erosion. It grows well in shade and full sun. New growth can be established through transplant existing moss or from readily available spores. This hardy moss will spread quickly and can be cultivated by itself or with other mosses.

Polytrichum Moss

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