Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


(sfăg`nəm) or

peat moss,

any species of the large and widely distributed genus Sphagnum, economically the most valuable mossmoss,
any species of the class Bryopsida, in which the liverworts are sometimes included. Mosses and liverworts together comprise the division Bryophyta, the first green land plants to develop in the process of evolution.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Sphagnums, the principal constituent of peatpeat,
soil material consisting of partially decomposed organic matter, found mainly in swamps and bogs in various parts of the northern temperate zone but also in some semitropical and tropical regions.
..... Click the link for more information.
, typically grow as a floating mat on freshwater bogsbog,
very old lake without inlet or outlet that becomes acid and is gradually overgrown with a characteristic vegetation (see swamp). Peat moss, or sphagnum, grows around the edge of the open water of a bog (peat is obtained from old bogs) and out on the surface.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Their leaflike appendages have many large cells with circular openings that enable them to absorb liquids readily; hence they are commercially important as a soil structure enhancer (or component of potting soils), packing material, and absorbent dressings and for other uses. Sphagnum is classified in the division BryophytaBryophyta
, division of green land plants that includes the mosses (class Bryopsida), the liverworts (Marchantiopsida), and the hornworts (Anthocerotopsida). The liverworts and hornworts are generally inconspicuous plants; common liverworts include species of the genera
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Bryopsida.



a genus of bog, or peat, mosses (Sphagnales). Of the 320 species, 42 are found in the USSR. The genus consists predominantly of mosses that grow in dense aggregates, forming large cushions or unbroken carpets on sphagnum bogs. The plants are less commonly found in rain forests. The soft, erect stem is 10–20 cm tall; the branches are arranged in clusters. Both the stem and the single-layer leaves contain a large number of dead water-bearing cells, whose pores readily absorb water. This accounts for the high moisture capacity of sphagnum mosses and promotes rapid development of upriver swamps in places where the mosses appear. The lower stems die off annually and form peat; the apical branches, however, continue to grow. Sphagnum mosses are distributed predominantly in the tundra and forest zones of the northern hemisphere; in the southern hemisphere they are found high in the mountains or, less commonly, in the plains of the temperate zone.


any moss of the genus Sphagnum, of temperate bogs, having leaves capable of holding much water: layers of these mosses decay to form peat
References in periodicals archive ?
Knapp (1966) interpreted the recognition of two classes: one Astelio-Oreoboletea for the peatlands in hyperhumid territory identifiable as cushion bogs, and a Rostkovio-Sphagnetea for acidophilus Sphagnum bogs.
In essence, the aim has been to establish 'nurse crops' of grasses and shrubs to stabilise bare peat, allowing more rainfall to infiltrate, raising the water table and creating the right conditions for sphagnum moss.
The experiment consisted of ten blocks (mother plants), with four layering by each plant in each period of the year (two layers with sphagnum and two with coconut fiber).
Pulverize the dried sphagnum moss and have it sterilized.
Thanks to the PS2 million scheme, sphagnum is spreading itself across the moor, rehydrating the landscape by storing up to one billion times its own dry weight in water and releasing it slowly during dry periods.
Sphagnum moss has been used as a dressing for wounds for more than 1000 years, including at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, because it is extremely absorbent.
From the Estonian bryoflora 11 species and the genus Sphagnum belong to the Annexes II and V of the EU Habitats Directive (Habitat Directive, 1992), four of these and 36 Sphagnum species are recorded in the present list of mire species.
Keywords: Peatland, bog, Sphagnum, Larix laricina, succession
This study investigated the leaching of selected trace elements (Cs, Li, Be, Sr and Ba) from plant growth media made of two coal fly ashes (one from semi-bituminous coal and one from lignite), and from these ashes combined with the soil and with the soil and sphagnum peat moss.
Sphagnum peatlands are commercially explored for different uses, such as substrate or compost for horticulture, fuel, bio-indicator and antipollution, production of light concrete, animal fodder and human food, medicinal, craftwork, filling of cushions, mattresses and quilts, production of pieces of clothing for cold regions, and for covering houses (GLIME, 2007).
If sphagnum moss is not available to you, consider using a fine grade of vermiculite - thinly, as some seeds need light to key germination.