Bartramia pomiformis

Alexis wrote today’s entry:

Robert Klips (Orthotrichum@Flickr) snapped this photo of an apple moss in Gallia County, Ohio, USA. Thanks for sharing, Robert!

Species of Bartramia, including the pictured Bartramia pomiformis, are called apple mosses because of the round shape of their sporangia (spore-containing capsules). One of about one hundred species in the genus, Bartramia pomiformis has a circumboreal distribution, extending from arctic latitudes to as far south as North Africa. This species forms loose tufts and turfs on moist rock outcrops and cliff shelves, from subalpine elevations down to sea level (see Schofield’s Some Common Mosses of British Columbia and Vitt et al’s Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America).

Bartramia pomiformis is distinguished in part by its long, slender and flexuous leaves, which are light green to bluish-green in colour. When dry, however, the leaves are twisted and contorted (see Ireland’s Moss Flora of the Maritime Provinces).

Bartramia pomiformis can be confused with Bartramia ithphylla, though the latter is only found in alpine and subalpine areas and its leaves remain straight when dry (from Schofield’s Some Common Mosses of British Columbia 1992). Also similar is Bartramia stricta (PDF), which lacks sheathing (leaves clasping and surrounding the stem base) and whose wet leaves are typically more erect than those of Bartramia pomiformis.

Bartramia pomiformis

7 responses to “Bartramia pomiformis”

  1. Irma in Sweden

    I am very intrigued in what is behind the names of plants and found that Bartramia is named after John Bartram (23 March 1699, Darby, Pennsylvania – September 22, 1777, Philadelphia)who was an early American botanist, horticulturalist and explorer. Carolus Linnaeus said he was the “greatest natural botanist in the world.”
    There is a good article on Wikipeida about the man and his work http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bartram
    Pomiformis is as I understand it “like an apple”

  2. wendy

    Thank-you Irma, you answered a question I was pondering. There is also a recent book out about Bartram by the title of, Brother Gardeners. I recommend it.

  3. Leanne

    I always love it when a moss is featured. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mary the Peony Fan

    Thanks for the great photo–I, too, love to see these close-ups of mosses. Nature is so much more than we give her credit for!

  5. Troy Mullens

    There is always something new and exciting to see in Nature. Be it for the first time, up close, or a different viewpoint. Thanks for sharing this.
    Troy Mullens
    Certified Texas Master Naturalist

  6. Sue

    Thanks for the fascinating picture, my first reaction was
    they look like minature gooseberries. Thanks for sharing.

  7. elizabeth a airhart

    how very nice to meet other people who have
    read bartram -first books i read when i moved
    to florida -checked in with powells they do
    have his books and the new one wendy wrote about
    a very pretty and differnt moss thank you
    tis a very differnt florida now

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