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Hair Cap Moss

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Haircap Moss-Polytrichum commune Hardy Planting Zones- 3-9 Sun or Shade – Partial Sun to Full Shade Mature Height - 2-6" Mature Width- 1-27" Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner

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Hair Cap Moss - Polytrichum Commune

The Hair Cap Moss also is known as pigeon wheat often grows as large mats in areas with highly acidic soils like peat bogs and old fields. The name implies how this moss procreates; it grows over the tops of dead hair cap moss. At the end of its life cycle which could be anywhere from 3 to 10 years new hair cap moss grows over it, capping it off.

Hair Cap Moss has female plants that grow to heights of one to eight inches in height have shoots holding eggs, while the male shoots are reaching 11 to 15 inches high hold sperm. Spring raindrops cause the sperm to fall on the eggs, and then the plant can reproduce. The wind blows the germinated eggs to land so it can begin to grow.

At the height of its growth, the hair cap can form extensive beds of dark green moss that can successfully control erosion using the combination of its thick surface mat and its underground rhizoid root system. The hair cap moss is an effective method for preventing soil erosion in areas with heavy rains as well as areas continually being exposed to salted streets during the winter months. Hair cap moss thrives in toxic environments and heavy rains. It absorbs chemical toxins effectively cleaning up the atmosphere. It has been known to absorb ten times its weight in moisture.

The uses of the hair cap moss range from creating a green bed that never needs moving on your lawn to using the moss as erosion control along banks. While it needs moisture and tends to do well in shaded areas, it can still thrive in direct sun. It grows heartily in regions with little dirt as can be verified by its growth on granite outcroppings. Moss easily controls your weed problems under bushes and along flower gardens, and it can grow in any soil with a low pH.

The hair cap moss is green year round, except in instances when a drought occurs, but a little rain will revive it again. For lawns with access to limited sunlight, this is the ideal substitute for grass. Plant hair cap moss and enjoy the greenery year round.


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Hair Cap Moss is a medium to large moss found in regions with high humidity and rainfall, including Mexico, several islands in the Pacific, Australia, and in much of the Northwestern Hemisphere. It often forms mats in peat bogs, fields, and areas with highly acidic soil. Hair Cap Moss can grow quite tall. It begins dark green but turns brown as it matures. Stems can grow in loose or dense tufts that commonly form colonies. These stems can stand upright or droop. Its small leaves stand erect when dry, but curve in and around the stem of the plant when wet.