- Sheet Moss- Hypnum Hardy Zones- 3-11 Sun or Shade- Shade/Part Shade Mature Height- 6"-24" Mature Width- 4"-36" Bloom Season- Year round Gardener Status- Intermediate
Sheet Moss - Hypnum curvifolium
Sheet moss is an aptly named species of moss that, when matured, appears like a thick sheet or carpet over a surface less than an inch thick. Golden-green in color, this plant is a great ground cover that can make any outdoor area feel more natural and lived in, provided it's at least partially shady. Like most mosses, sheet moss can survive in just about any soil and can very easily be transplanted from one area to the other, though regular watering is required for the first three months or so as it takes root (this also applies for moss beginning to form on a surface made from a slurry). Additionally, it thrives best in compact clay soils with a higher pH. So long as the weather does not drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the climate remains a bit moist or humid, this plant should be able to grow just about anywhere, too.
Sheet moss naturally grows in North American forests on tree trunks, rocks, logs, walls and a variety of other surfaces. In fact, it has been found on all continents except Antarctica. Moss is a type of plant known as a bryophyte. It has no real roots, seeds, fruits, or flowers. It is so widespread that it also has some familiar names such as carpet moss, rock moss, and feather moss. These names describe specific qualities of the moss. It is typically harvested in sheets because of its lateral, thick, and low growth habit. Sheet Moss prefers shady areas, but it will tolerate partial sun as long as it is not direct sunlight in the afternoon. The plant color ranges from a bright to a medium green to various shades of yellow. It tolerates light foot traffic, so it is useful for filling in spaces between pavers on walkways and in patios. This moss prefers to grow in slightly acidic loamy or sandy soil. It is also quite tolerant of pollution. In some regions such as the Pacific Northwest, mosses are encouraged to grow as a lawn cover which will do away with weekly mowings. To promote energy conservation mosses are used on green roofs since they have a reduced weight load compared to higher plants. The mosses are also utilized as hanging basket linings, like a terrarium soil covers, and even as packing material. Years ago the moss was used as fillings for mattresses and pillows, so it is associated with sleep. The genus name Hypnum comes from the Greek word Hypnos, the name of the Greek God Hypnos or sleep.