Cushion mosses

Cushion mosses are a group of mosses you are likely to encounter when you are out surveying;

  • Like Sphagnum mosses they grow in patches, cushions or carpets.
  • Shoots and branches always point upwards, unlike in Sphagnum where they often hang down. 

  • Shoots are usually unbranched, but sometimes may have one or two branches.
  • Cushion mosses will be found on disturbed ground.

The image above shows some typical cushion mosses (left) along with Polytrichum (right) - the cushion moss which is most often confused with Sphagnum because it forms bright green and dense carpets. However, this moss does not have a capitulum and feels dry and slightly spiky to the touch.

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