Mosses are small green plants- usually found in damp and shady areas. They differ from vascular plants in that they lack xylem for transporting water within their tissues. They rely on absorbing water and nutrients mainly through their leaves. They do not have proper roots, but have rhizoids which serve only to anchor the plant to the substrate on which it is growing.

Mosses do not have flowers or seeds. They reproduce by spores which develop in the capsules or sporangia of the sporophyte. The spores are mostly wind-dispersed.


In many mosses, green vegetative structures called gemmae or brood boodies are produced on leaves or branches, which can break off and form new plants without the need to go through the cycle of fertilization.

This is a means of asexual reproduction, and the genetically identical units can lead to the formation of clonal populations.

In some species eg. Pulchrinodus inflatus sporophytes have never been found, suggesting it relies solely on asexual (vegetative) reproduction.


moss photo index

This image shows the life cycle of a typical moss.

By LadyofHats (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons