Moss of the year - 2020. Pincushion moss

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Thu, 19.12.2019 - 17:04

Photo Arne Ader
Estonian text posted 16.12.2019

Valviku mättad Ruhnu metsas

Pincushion moss mounds in a forest in Ruhnu




Pincushion moss    Harilik valvik      Leucobryum glaucum


The pincushion moss is on the list of endangered species in the Estonian Red Book, incidentally it is the only Leucobryum species growing in Estonia. On the list for next year’s mosses  the moss friends had nine different candidates:

As a plant that prefers a humid climate we can find habitats more often in coniferous or mixed forests turning boggy in West Estonia and the islands, also in boggy alder stands. The pincushion moss mounds however grow especially handsomely in the Ruhnu Island, but there in sandy pine forests. In the eastern counties finds are less numerous.

Identification is easy because you cannot miss the pretty paler green moss cushions   the height and diameter of which can reach half a metre. Such a large cushion can grow up to a centimetre per year and knowing this we can also calculate the age of it.

What are the threats to these rare mosses?

Drainage and forestry work are both dangers but also careless individuals among us who vandalize the moss cushions.

In summer we will introduce the pincushion moss in more detail .

The website of the Estonian moss friends:  LINK

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