Strange thing, this moss

Foto: Carmen Radeck

After a documentary about mosses, I walk through the forest with a completely different focus. But not only there, also through the village. Moss is everywhere. On tree trunks, whether standing, lying or stumps, on forest floors, meadows, pavements, front gardens or the roof of the dustbin shed in our street.

Mosses are fascinating plants. Survival artists, although it’s so soft and delicate. It was the first time in ages that I touched the green fluff. The last time I did that was probably as a child.

Moss is a big thing now. It’s being rediscovered. Or maybe really discovered for the first time. Maybe it was just too ubiquitous to get full attention.

Foto: Carmen Radeck

But it’s not as misunderstood everywhere as it is here. In Japan for example, it is honored, cherished and cared for in some places. A Japanese moss expert interviewed in the documentary even crawled across the floor to sniff out the mouldy smell of a particular species of moss.

Moss is probably the first plant species on earth that ever grew on land. Its origin is algae.

There are many many different species, even moss that moves on the surface of some glaciers. It’s called „glacier mice“.

Moss that was over a thousand years old was found under a layer of permafrost. The cold couldn’t harm it. Even drought and reactor disasters don’t affect moss. As experiments show it could even be settled on Mars.

Moss has no roots. It lets itself be blown somewhere by the wind and then reproduces there. One species has even made a pact with fox poop, growing on it and mimicking its smell (or stench) to attract blowflies to reproduce.

It’s somehow beautiful to know that maybe we can’t destroy everything green so easily after all.

Sure, with glyphosate. But by the way. One type of moss has exactly the same properties or even the same ingredient as glyphosate.

Strange thing, this moss.

Der Autor

I'm a communications professional and collage enthusiast living in the Ruhr region in Germany.