Types of moss, are many moss plants have been around for quite some time, populating several places worldwide, including Antarctica, with over 20,000 species available. These lush green plants have a variety of uses in gardens and other landscapes, even though they often grow uninvited between cracks in the road or a wall.

10 Types of Moss for Gardens For a Stunning Greenery

They are frequently ignored and undervalued. In this article, we’ll discuss several types of moss, their distinctive – Features, and how to identify them; let’s jump in.

Different Types of Moss for a Lush Green Landscape

1. Common Haircap Moss

Polytrichum commune, popularly known as common haircap moss and sometimes referred to as pigeon wheat or great goldilocks, is a type of Moss that grows predominantly in regions that receive rainfall and high humidity.

It belongs to the polytrichum genus, which contains more than 50 species of Moss. Haircap moss can be found growing in almost any region of the world.

– Features

These moss types have hair-like – Features that distinguish them from other plants. Haircap moss is easy to identify because of its hairy or spiky leaves. Their leaf color ranges from light to dark green, while their stems are seen as reddish-brown.

The plants turn brown with age. Looking at the common types of haircap moss from the top, you will notice their leaves resemble groupings of tiny stars.

Common Haircap Moss

Unlike the dwarf haircap moss which is also known as the pogonatum aloides, these moss species can grow to an unusually tall height for moss plants, with stems that sometimes surpass 12 inches. However, note that some varieties also grow shorter, between two and four inches.

– Growth Requirements

You can successfully grow a moss lawn or moss garden with haircap Moss if your garden or yard has the right soil conditions. In full to partial shades of sun, you will see them thriving and growing, make sure that, however, the sun isn’t harshly direct to it.

These moss types can grow in sandy, rocky, or gravel soils. The ideal soil pH for growing moss is between 4.5 and 6. You will get the best outcome if you meet these soil requirements.

2. Spoon Leaved Moss

Spoon leaved moss is classified as Bryoandersonia illecebra. This moss specie is common in several parts of America. Although, in some places like Ontario in Canada, it is considered a threatened or rare specie of moss.

This pleurocarpous moss creates a thick layer of soft foliage as it grows. The small leaves, which resemble scales, completely overshadow the stems. It spreads along rocks in a crawling manner, forming thick mats of vegetation.

– Features

Spoon leaved moss has lustrous green, greenish-brown, or yellow-brown leaves. They have creeping, rising stems, with interwoven branches that form dense mats. These moss species are rather huge and distinctive compared to other moss species.

Spoon Leaved Moss

You can see that their stems appear smooth and cylindrical, mainly when they are dry. They are called spoon leaved moss because of the characteristic look of their leaves, which are wide and concave, the way a spoon is shaped.

– Growth Requirements

Spoon-leaved Moss can grow in wet meadows, marshes, and swamps. With the right soil conditions, these plants can live very long. They typically favor soil substrates, especially on; however, they can also grow on rocks or tree roots.

Also, they grow well in moist, acidic soils. In addition, they need partial sun so that they would thrive.

3. Heath Star Moss

Campylopus introflexus is commonly called heath star moss. It is known as acrocarpous Moss.

The heath star moss, different from star moss, is indigenous to South America, Australia, and Africa, although it has been naturalized in many other places across Europe. Under the right circumstances, the moss can spread aggressively and become Invasive.

Heath Star Moss

– Features

Heath star moss is a fast-growing plant. These plants are easily recognizable and can reach a height of four inches when they’re mature. Furthermore, they feature dark, reddish-brown stems and leaves that are a brilliant green when they’re younger, in addition, their leaves turn an almost black color when the plants mature.

– Growth Requirements

Heath star moss grows in moist, acidic soil conditions. They can flourish on decaying logs, old fences, and sometimes roof tiles. Also, they aren’t fussy and can grow on dry to humid soils that are nutrient-poor, which means that it will grow as long as it establishes itself from the start.

4. Springy Turf Moss

Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus is commonly called the square goose neck moss in the United States and the springy turf moss in the United Kingdom. They are acrocarpous mosses widely distributed around the Northern Hemisphere.

It is a popular type of moss found in artificial or partially-improved grasslands, including most lawns, gardens, and golf courses, where they grow in large swards.

Springy turf moss can tolerate a wide range of biological conditions. These slow-growing moss get their name from their ability to rebound after being compressed, making them great for most terrariums.

They are also perfect for ornamental purposes because of their aesthetic appeal. Additionally, they are easily identifiable but are sometimes confused with Rhytidiadelphus subpinnatus, their closest relative.

Springy Turf Moss

– Features

Spring Turf moss grows into wiry mats of spreading stems. They have branching, reddish stems with tiny light green leaves that bend at a right angle, this gives them a star-like look from the top, and sparkle in the light.

The leaves of springy turf moss are usually covered with dense hairs. Their stems can grow up to five to six inches long. Most of the species’ reproduction is asexual since the plant hardly ever develops capsules.

– Growth Requirements

Springy turf moss can tolerate many rough soil conditions. They are easy to care for and, like most moss plants, grow well in wet or boggy areas. It needs to be set under partial sunlight requirements so that the moss would grow at its perfect pace.

However, they are resilient and can tolerate short periods of drought and dryness. These plants grow well in soils with a slightly acidic pH.

5. Baby Tooth Moss

Baby tooth moss, also known as toothed Plagiomnium moss, is classified as Plagiomnium cuspidatum. These pleurocarpous carpeting moss types are perennial plants. They are short-lived moss species found all over Africa, North America, and Asia. Several birds are attracted to them, and many species use them as nesting grounds.

Plagiomnium cuspidatum contributes significantly to the health of forest ecosystems by housing a variety of small creatures, controlling soil levels, and preventing soil erosion, which is the key characteristic of this moss.

– Features

Baby tooth moss is unique, with distinct – features that are easily recognizable. These plants grow as tall as five inches and as wide as two feet. They grow in large mounds, with upstanding stems that resemble trees.

Remember that this Moss has a plump and velvety appearance thanks to its smooth feather-like leaves. Their leaves can be different shades of green, with heavily serrated edges.

Baby Tooth Moss

They often spread by spores that are carried by the wind during fall and winter, as it actually favors damp environments for growth. However, it is more drought-tolerant than the majority of other moss species.

– Growth Requirements

Baby tooth moss is relatively easy to grow in terrariums or as ground covers. They do well in clay, humus, gravel, and sandy soils. These moss types need an acidic, damp environment to develop well.

Note that when you are using a sand mix, created especially for moss plants is the best way to achieve this type of growing environment. As an alternative, you can create your potting mix by mixing ordinary potting soil with common peat moss which is also called the Sphagnum centrale.

Plagiomnium cuspidatum cannot thrive in dry environments; therefore, whatever growing medium you select, make sure you keep it moist. With the proper care and maintenance, baby tooth moss will offer stunning aesthetics to your indoor or outdoor garden.

Moreover, baby tooth also prefers cool temperatures and damp environments instead of full sun environments. Full sun can damage the plants and cause them to become discolored.

6. Water Screw Moss

Syntrichia latifolia it is also known as the water screw moss, as it is an acrocarpous moss. This Moss has broad, little leaves arranged around its stems to resemble a blanket of tiny green flowers. The stunning arrangements of its leaves give the plant an attractive appearance. Although water screw moss will grow on walls, boulders, and along the side of shaded highways or roads, they are primarily found growing on trees.

– Features

Syntrichia latifolia plants have a slightly yellow or dull green appearance. Their soft, broad leaves would grow tiny but they remain vibrant. When they’re wet, their leaves curl inward. They mostly grow close to the ground, only about one inch tall.

Water Screw Moss

On the other hand, the leaves of the dried moss appear somewhat shriveled or shrunk and tinier. The borders of water screw moss leaves are simple, and the nerves terminate in the roughly rounded tips of the leaves. Small spherical gemmae that resemble pollen grains in size and appearance cover the upper surface of water screw moss leaves.

– Growth Requirements

Syntrichia latifolia can grow in rough soil types, including sand, gravel, and rocky soils. These plants require soils with an acidic pH.

They do well in partially shaded areas and can tolerate some flooding. As long as all its soil requirements are met, you will have a hope of growing water screw moss in your garden or backyard successfully.

7. Ribbed Bog Moss

Ribbed bog moss, also called bog groove moss, is classified as Aulacomnium palustre. It is a member of the Aulacomnium genus. Known as an acrocarpous moss, it has an extensive distribution.

This plant is commonly found in several areas of the United States, Venezuela, Eurasia, and New Zealand. It occurs more frequently than the majority of other wild mosses and can be found all over the world in wetlands and marshes (as its name implies).

Ribbed Bog Moss

– Features

Ribbed bog moss creates large clusters of tufts that create a highly matted carpet when combined. These mosses feature delicate greenish-yellow leaves with orange-brown stems that become thinner, closer to the top.

In addition, the ribbed bog mosses thrive in chilly areas, and are common in places like Canada. Their leaves appear thick or dense when they are moist but shrivel and distort when they are dry.

– Growth Requirements

Ribbed bog moss species thrive in several soil types, and this is the key determiner of its growth. As long as the soil is boggy, marshy, or wet, these plants will survive. Another thing to keep in mind is the soil pH. Like most other mosses, these plants prefer soils with an acidic pH. Furthermor, remember to keep this moss moist, so that it thrives.

8. American Tree Moss

Climacium Americanum, known as the American tree moss, is popularly grown for its aesthetic appearance. This pleurocarpous moss specie is native to North America and can be found in abundance in the United States and Canada.

Typical locations in the US for the American tree moss include forests, hiking trails, rocky terrain, riverbanks, and stream sides. American tree moss is a perennial plant. These moss species are usually found in shady areas.

– Features

If you need something festive, you can opt for American tree mosses. American tree moss species have thick, branching structures, with red secondary stems and brown leafless, primary stems that give the appearance of numerous small Christmas trees gathered together. The primary stems of this Moss, which run slightly below or above the ground, have the propensity to spread.

American Tree Moss

American tree moss leaves begin as a light green color and mature into a darker olive hue. These moss plants grow slightly larger than most other mosses. They can reach about five inches in height. When they’re wet, their leaves appear glossy. The dried Moss has a duller appearance.

– Growth Requirements

American tree mosses can grow in a variety of environments and soil types. They mostly grow in rocky soils, wetlands, and forests. These plants prefer moist, humid habitats with partial sunlight or slight shade. When American tree mosses are exposed to lots of water, they grow longer, more lax, and are more likely to collapse.

Make sure that it is located in an area where it will not see full sunlight, on the contrary, partial sun will do best.

9. Glittering Wood Moss

Hylocomium splendens which is also commonly known as the glittering wood moss, and are a pleurocarpous species of mosses. The Northern Hemisphere is home to a large population of this kind of feather moss, which prefers chilly regions like Canada, Russia, and Scotland. So if you live in cooler areas like these, you can grow Glittering wood mosses in your garden.

– Features

Glittering Wood mosses get their name from the appearance of their leaves under light. They appear glossy and shiny when they’re exposed to light.

Furthermore, these plants grow only about four inches tall. They feature olive-green leaves and scarlet stems that can grow up to eight inches long. Their leaves change color and turn brown during fall.

Glittering Wood Moss

Hylocomium splendens have an aesthetic appearance similar to little spruce tree branches. They can be used in floral arrangements. These plants have useful antibacterial properties.

– Growth Requirements

Like most other moss plants, glittering wood mosses grow optimally in acidic soils. They can grow in almost any type of soil as long as it has the right pH.

These plants are occasionally found on chalky grasslands that have been extensively leached, and make sure that water does not stay in the soil, or else, the roots will become weaker.

Lastly, when you are growing them you must make sure that the plant will not grow in full sun, but on the contrary it will see some partial shades of sun, or else it will be under stress.

10. Common Tamarisk Moss

Thuidium tamariscinum commonly known as common Tamarisk moss or Tamarisk thuidium moss belongs to the Thudiaceae family. This moss plant is distributed widely across many regions. They flourish in most grasslands, hedge banks, and forests. These mosses have an extreme appearance. They are low-growing plants, with stunning leaf patterns that reflect light.

– Features

Common Tamarisk mosses have a very distinct appearance. They have vivid yellowish-green foliage that resembles ferns. Also, they have dark stems that make a striking contrast with their leaves.

Common Tamarisk Moss

They have this mystical quality that is appealing wherever they grow. Perhaps it’s the way they grow like they’re from another place and time, or it’s the fact that they can thrive almost anywhere around the world, on different types of surface, including trees and rocks.

– Growth Requirements

Tamarisk mosses are not fussy plants. In contrast to other mosses which favor acidic soil, this particular species of moss does well when it’s planted in neutral soil. They grow dense foliage when planted in moist soils or rotting wood. In addition, make sure that the plant sees medium shade to partial shade of sun so that it has the energy to expand and grow.


The earth is home to many moss species, some of which have been included in the list above. Additional options include; hypnum cupressiforme, dicranum scoparium, ptilium crista-castrensis, didymodon rigidulus, rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, entodon seductrix, thuidium delicatulum, reindeer moss and sphagnum moss.

The wide variety of species available makes lovely selections. To recap;

  • Different types of moss plants can be found worldwide, even in extremely cold regions like Antarctica.
  • Most moss plants can be used for several purposes, such as ground cover, green roofs, moss lawns and terrariums.
  • Most moss plants grow in acidic soils.
  • There’s just something unique and mysterious about the look of moss plants. It could be that it reminds us of childlike wonder with its lush, velvety looks.

Some other types of moss plants that you might be interested in include; the Pincushion moss, mood moss, shiny seductive Moss, plume moss, juniper moss, shaggy Moss, rigid beard moss, cushion moss, fern moss, warnstorf’s peat moss,Tousled treasure moss, square gooseneck moss, Catherine’s Moss, delicate fern moss, silky forklet Moss, sand beauty moss, ceratodon purpureus and hypnum imponens.


  • https://www.centralcoastbiodiversity.org/common-haircap-moss-bull-polytrichum-commune.html&ved=2ahUKEwjh76O3yeT7AhUHKhoKHXeRCtkQFnoECA0QAQ&usg=AOvVaw3ovqgeekvbDCM4XM2iEglz
  • https://www.ontario.ca/page/spoon-leaved-moss#:~:text=Spoon%2Dleaved%20moss%20is%20a,compared%20to%20most%20moss%20species.
  • https://guatemala.inaturalist.org/taxa/130289-Campylopus-introflexus
  • https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0000310719&ved=2ahUKEwjbu9aYoOX7AhVJKxoKHf-UDTEQFnoECGEQAQ&usg=AOvVaw284nE6fGI0_n9zNICZBibo
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