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Free Images of Mosses

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as". 

 

 

 

 

Since I am not an expert in identification of these species, if I have identified a plant
inaccurately,  please let me know so that the descriptions can be corrected.  

 

Did you know....

While both mosses and lichens are called "non-vascular" plants - only mosses are plants.  

Mosses are  included in a group of non-vascular plants called "bryophytes" - which mean non-vascular plants that do not have leaves, roots or stems. They are small, soft  plants that commonly grow close together in tufts, clumps, sods or mats.  They do not have internal water-bearing vessels, no flowers and therefore no fruits, cones or seeds.  Although they need moisture to survive, dried moss can sometimes be revived with water.   Mosses are photosynthetic which means they make their own food from water and CO2.  Although usually growing on moist ground, tree trunks or rocks since they require water for fertilization, mosses are very hardy and can grow just about anywhere. 

Note:  While you may be tempted to bring home with you a beautiful piece of moss you find in your travels, I urge you not to, for your attempts at transplanting the specimen will undoubtedly end in disappointment and failure.  Mosses are very selective about where they grow - multiple variables have to be in place for healthy survival and growth.

Moss identification

The identification of mosses is particularly difficult for me, the layperson.  One must look at cell ratios, freely branched (pleurocarpous) versus rarely branched (acrocarpous), stereid bands, cell surface ornamentation, etc.  To make things even more difficult, immature, sterile or small specimens cannot be identified with certainty.  Many species can be identified in the field, while some can only be identified if sporophytes are present.

For help with identification, I highly recommend the University of Illinois Perspective Oriented Guide for the Identification of North American Bryophyte Genera where you can work you way through species identification.  (Note:  This link will take you outside of the FreeTiiuPix website.)

On my bucket list is the redesign of the entire moss section of this website as well as several moss photography trips next spring and summer.  I shall try to follow a few specific specimens through the growing season.  In the meanwhile, please enjoy the successful (I think) identification of the following species in alphabetical order followed by some unidentified mosses.  Please let me know if you can positively identify anything for me.

Unless otherwise noted, all specimens were photographed in Northern Ontario.

 

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" ? 

 

Aulacomnium palustre Ribbed Bog Moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 1 ?   [Moss-B1]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Aulacomnium palustre Ribbed Bog Moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 2 ?   [Moss-B2]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 2001 x 2670  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Ontario Moss Aulacomnium palustre Ribbed Bog Moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 3 ?   [Moss-B3]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Aulacomnium palustre Ribbed Bog Moss green leafy moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 4 ?   [Moss-B4]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 2167 x 2888  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

Green moss with many leaves Aulacomnium palustre Ribbed Bog Moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 5 ?   [Moss-J1]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 3264 x 2448  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

ribbed bog moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 6 ???   [Moss-1]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 3264 x 2448  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

ribbed bog moss

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 7 ???   [Moss-2]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

ribbed bog moss on rock in northern ontario

Aulacomnium palustre  "Ribbed Bog Moss" - 8 ???   [Moss-4]

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

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Ceratodon purpureus "Fire Moss"

Ceratodon purpureus is commonly known as Fire Moss.  This dirty green, yellowish-brown or reddish moss has stems that are unbranched, or forked.  Growing to be 0.5 - 2.5 cm in length, the moss grows in tufts or mats.  Leaves are lance shaped, 1.8-2 mm long and pointed at the their tips.

Fire Moss can be found in dry to moist open, disturbed areas on exposed soil.  The images below were photographed in northern Ontario, Canada.

 

red fire moss

Ceratodon purpureus "Fire Moss"  [1]  ?

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

 

 

slender red fire moss Ceratodon purpureus

Ceratodon purpureus "Fire Moss"  [2]  ?

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

 Large - 4608 x 3456  -  For the full-size resolution of this image click here.

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Mosses Image Pages    [1]    [2]    [3]

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 



 

 

Lovely Lichens &
Magnificent Mosses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lichens - Two types of organisms living together - a fungus and an alga.  The fungus makes the body that protects the alga, and the alga provides the food for the fungus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoreau once wrote:  "I find myself inspecting little granules as it were on the bark of trees - little shields or apothecia springing from a thallus - such is the mood of my mind - and I call it studying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classification - 

Lichens were problematic for biological classification but are now classified as fungi under the genus and species of the host fungus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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