moss(redirected from Moss (botany))
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Moss(môs), city (1995 pop. 25,253), capital of Østfold co., SE Norway, a port on the Oslofjord. It is a commercial, industrial, and tourist center, with shipyards, sawmills, textile factories, metalworks, and breweries. On Aug. 14, 1814, the convention establishing the personal union of Sweden and Norway was signed there.
moss,any species of the class Bryopsida, in which the liverwortsliverwort,
any plant of the class Marchantiopsida. Mosses and liverworts together comprise the division Bryophyta, primitive green land plants (see moss; plant); some of the earliest land plants resembled modern liverworts.
..... Click the link for more information. are sometimes included. Mosses and liverworts together comprise 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. , the first green land plants to develop in the process of evolution. It is believed that they evolved from certain very primitive vascular plants and have not given rise to any other type of plant. Their rootlike rhizomes and leaflike processes lack the vascular structure (xylem and phloem) of the true roots, stems, and leaves found in higher plants. Although limited to moist habitats because they require water for fertilization, bryophytes are usually extremely hardy and grow everywhere except in the sea. Mosses, the more complex class structurally, usually grow vertically rather than horizontally, like the liverworts. The green moss plant visible to the naked eye, seldom over 6 in. (15.2 cm) in height, is the gametophyte generation (see reproductionreproduction,
capacity of all living systems to give rise to new systems similar to themselves. The term reproduction may refer to this power of self-duplication of a single cell or a multicellular animal or plant organism.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Except for the commercially valuable sphagnumsphagnum
or peat moss,
any species of the large and widely distributed genus Sphagnum, economically the most valuable moss. Sphagnums, the principal constituent of peat, typically grow as a floating mat on freshwater bogs.
..... Click the link for more information. or peat moss, mosses are of little direct importance to humans. They are of some value in soil formation and filling in of barren habitats (e.g., dried lakes) prior to the growth of higher plants and also provide food for certain animals. Unrelated plants sharing the name moss include the club mossclub moss,
name generally used for the living species of the class Lycopodiopsida, a primitive subdivision of vascular plants. The Lycopodiopsida were a dominant plant group in the Carboniferous period, when they attained the size of trees, and contributed to the coal deposits
..... Click the link for more information. , flowering moss, or pyxie (of the diapensiadiapensia
, common name for the Diapensiaceae, a family of low evergreen shrubs native to cool and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The species that are restricted to the New World are found in the E United States.
..... Click the link for more information. family), Irish moss, or carrageen (see algaealgae
[plural of Lat. alga=seaweed], a large and diverse group of primarily aquatic plantlike organisms. These organisms were previously classified as a primitive subkingdom of the plant kingdom, the thallophytes (plants that lack true roots, stems, leaves, and flowers).
..... Click the link for more information. ), reindeer moss (a lichenlichen
, usually slow-growing organism of simple structure, composed of fungi (see Fungi) and photosynthetic green algae or cyanobacteria living together in a symbiotic relationship and resulting in a structure that resembles neither constituent.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and Spanish mossSpanish moss,
fibrous grayish-green epiphyte (Tillandsia usneoides) that hangs on trees of tropical America and the Southern states, also called Florida, southern, or long moss. It is not a true moss but a member of the pineapple family, and has inconspicuous flowers.
..... Click the link for more information. . Mosses are classified in the division Bryophyta, class Bryopsida.
See A. J. Grout, Moss Flora of North America (3 vol., 1928–39, repr. 1972).
a city in Norway, and a port on the Oslofjorden. Capital of the Östfold fylke (county). Population, 25,500 (1971). Local industries include shipbuilding, various types of machine building, wood pulp and paper production, and condensed milk processing.