White Cushion Moss

Leucobryum glaucum

BioImages

White Cushion Moss is a common moss which forms a thick cushion. It can be white, grayish, or bluish-green. It grows about one to three inches tall.

This moss often grows in a ball shape, but it can also form a mat almost three feet across.

White Cushion Moss grows in moist woods or marshes; anywhere there is shade and water.

It can be found growing on soil, rotting logs, bases of living or dead tree trunks, or rock ledges.

Copyright, K. H. Linne von Berg

Like all mosses, White Cusion Moss does not have roots or flowers. Mosses have stems with many tiny leaves on them. Leaves are only a few milimeters long. Since it has no roots, White Cushion Moss absorbs water through its leaves like a sponge. To reproduce, this moss sends up tiny stalks, called "sporophytes." When the spores inside are grown, the stalk bends and the top of it opens up, letting the spores fall out. Spores are the equivalent of seeds in a flowering plant, but are not exactly the same. Spores will travel by wind to form new plants.

Walter Obermayer

Like all mosses, White Cushion Moss provides shelter for small animals, especially insects. Some tiny creatures, such as Water Bears, actually eat the moss.

Many birds use moss to line their nests.

Mosses help the whole environment, because they hold moisture for long periods of time. They will slowly let the moisture out into the soil. This helps other plants, animals, and fungi grow when there is a drought.

White Cushion Moss, and other mosses, also help prevent erosion, the moving of soil and nutrients in a flood, by holding them in place.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Water Bear

Red-backed Salamander

Black Oak

Snow Flea

Isopod

White Oak

Soil Mite

Garden Centipede

Southern Red Oak

North American Milipede

Black Cherry

Leopard Slug

Eastern White Pine

Eastern Newt

Wild Strawberry

Crane Fly

Water Bear

Great Crested Flycatcher

Fiery Searcher

Common Black Ground Beetle

Carolina Chickadee

Snow Flea

Spotted Salamander

Soil Mite

Northern Mockingbird

Tufted Titmouse

Ring-legged Earwig

White-footed Mouse

Bald Eagle

Relationship to Humans:

White Cushion Moss is used for landscaping shady gardens. It also, along with other mosses, is used as packing materials for fruits, vegetables, and living plants. Mosses are also used by scientists to show if there is a lot of pollution in an area.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Bryophyta
CLASS
Bryopsida
ORDER
Dicranales
FAMILY
Leucobryaceae
GENUS
Leucobryum
SPECIES
Leucobryum glaucum

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