Pleurozium schreberi
“phoenix feather moss”

Pleurozium schreberi photo by Bob Klips

Pleurozium schreberi at Dawes Arboretum in Licking County, Ohio, August 10, 2011.

Pleurozium schreberi

Pleurozium schreberi with Dicranum scoparium and Cladonia subtenuis lichen in Delaware, Ohio. October 23, 2012.

Pleurozium schreberi

Pleurozium schreberi at Batelle Darby Metro Park, Franklin County, Ohio. August 12, 202.

How to recognize phoenix feature moss: Pleurozium schreberi forms shaggy carpets with pinnate stems with the branches at right angles to the stem; sometimes the branching is irregular. The red stems and branches can be easily seen when the leaves are wet, and often when they are dry. The leaves are up to 3 mm long and concave. The leaf edges curl in and form a little extended “half-a-tube” leaf tip. The leaf has a short double costa, which may be difficult to see among the plicate folds in the leaf. Under the microscope the alar cells are orange short rectangles. The capsule is short and horizontal and has a little conical cap or operculum.

Where to find phoenix feather moss: Pleurozium schreberi grows on soil, humus and rock, and also in bogs and fens, and it can be weedy in northern lawns.