Which mosses should I use?
The best mosses to be used for propagation are those already growing in the immediate vicinity. There are also many widespread genera of moss, such as Polytrichum, Thuidium and Dicranum, which respond well to propagation and transplantation. As few nurseries sell mosses, the best area to find your mosses is in your own backyard and roadcuts. As well, it is ideal to gather mosses from a substrate similar to the area in which the moss growth is desired. Using a variety of moss species and genera will also increase the chances of finding a moss likely to survive in its new home.
In the Pacific Northwest there are several species that grow well in both moist, shady areas and sunny, exposed areas. Different species prefer different substrates. The following is a list of common mosses found in Western Oregon area which would be well utilized in the formation of a moss garden or lawn:
Rock and sand substrates:
Racomitrium species; especially Racomitrium canescens. These can thrive in both sunny and semi-shaded areas.
(See Mosses in Lawns and Gardens section)
Concrete, brick or mortared rock:
(See Mosses on Rooftops and Mosses on Sidewalks sections)
Remember, however, that knowing the particular species may be less important than just collecting those mosses growing in similar conditions. For further information on moss species see Schenk (1997), Fletcher (1991), and Massie (1996).
Return to the main page of this section