| |

Zygodon: The Fascinating World of a Tiny Moss

Affiliate Disclaimer: As an affiliate, we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase from any of the links on this page at no additional cost to you!


medium.jpg from: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1159904-Zygodon-pentastichus

Discovering the Fascinating World of Zygodon pentastichus var. crispatulus (Thér.) Malta Moss


Mosses are often overlooked, but they play crucial roles in ecosystems around the world. One particularly interesting species is Zygodon pentastichus var. crispatulus (Thér.) Malta, a moss in the Orthotrichaceae family. Commonly known as Zygodon, this tiny but mighty plant is worth getting to know. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of this fascinating moss.


Zygodon pentastichus var. crispatulus belongs to the division Bryophyta


Zygodon-pentastichus-SEM-photographs-of-peristome-A-Peristome-B-E-Exostome-B.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Zygodon-pentastichus-SEM-photographs-of-peristome-A-Peristome-B-E-Exostome-B_fig9_232690822

and class Bryopsida. The Orthotrichaceae family contains around 900 species found worldwide. Zygodon mosses are small, cushion-forming plants that typically grow on trees, rocks, and other surfaces.

Morphology and Identification

Zygodon pentastichus var. crispatulus forms small, dense cushions usually less than 1 cm tall. The leaves are lance-shaped, 1-2 mm long, and have a strong midrib. When dry, the leaves become crisped and contorted, a key identification feature. The leaf margins are entire (smooth-edged). Capsules are cylindrical and borne on short setae (stalks). Spores are small, 10-14 μm in diameter.


34007025294_8a8765cea3_b.jpg from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154974313@N02/34007025294/


Zygodon-pentastichus-A-Habit-when-dry-B-Habit-when-moist-C-Leaves-D-Apex-E-Leaf.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Zygodon-pentastichus-A-Habit-when-dry-B-Habit-when-moist-C-Leaves-D-Apex-E-Leaf_fig8_232690822

Global Distribution and Habitat

This moss has a wide distribution, found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It grows in a variety of habitats including on tree bark, rocks, walls, and occasionally on soil. Zygodon pentastichus var. crispatulus is able to tolerate moderate pollution and disturbance.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Like other mosses, Zygodon plays important roles in its ecosystems:

Zygodon has several adaptations that allow it to thrive:



5408650822_552c532a99_b.jpg from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sofikabum/5408650822/

The diminutive Zygodon pentastichus var. crispatulus moss may be small in stature, but it has an outsized ecological impact. From retaining moisture to providing habitat, this mighty moss proves that size isn’t everything. Next time you’re out in nature, take a closer look – you may just spot a patch of Zygodon making a big difference. What other small but mighty mosses have you encountered?


41.jpg from: https://www.yumpu.com/es/document/read/15673160/las-briofitas-corma-bio-bio/41


Fissidens_incurvus.jpg from: https://maltawildplants.com/!faunafungi/maltawildlife.php?species=Fissidens incurvus

Similar Posts