Mosses reproduce by means of spores produced in a capsule on the stalk. The spores germinate into branching filaments, from which buds arise that grow into moss plants.
Mosses vary in growth and color according to species (see diagram). Fontinalis anti pyretica (A) is an aquatic moss, whose boat-shaped leaves have a sharp keel (1); the capsules are oblong or cylindrical (2, 3) and there is a pointed cap (4). Polytrichum commune (B) is extremely common and has a capsule (5) that looks like a four-sided box. It bears a long, golden brown cap (6) which is released before the spores are dispersed. Atrichum undulatum (C) is common on heaths and in woods, and has a capsule (7) with a long, pointed cap. Schistostega pennata (D) has flattened, translucent leaves.
Related category• BOTANY
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