Vehicle Fuel Available at Big Meadows ONLY!
Vehicle fuel is only available at Big Meadows (mile 52). Gas service has been discontinued at the Loft and Elkwallow areas.
Mosses and Liverworts
Mosses and liverworts occur in a variety of habitats throughout Shenandoah National Park. These non-vascular plants (bryophytes) lack well developed water conducting tissue and tend to be most abundant in moist areas, such as the splash zones of a waterfalls, or in the higher elevation forests that are frequently enveloped in fog.
Mosses and liverworts contain photosynthetic pigments and, like more advanced plants, produce their own food from sunlight. Mosses typically have small leaves arranged in a whorl around a short stem. Liverworts are closely related to mosses, but can usually be recognized by their larger flattened leaves that grow in two rows.
The park supports approximately 208 species of moss and 58 species of liverwort. These plants can grow on many different substrates including soil, rocks, and bark in a variety of environmental conditions. Some examples from Shenandoah include white cushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum) on nutrient poor acidic soil, haircap moss (Polytrichum commune) on moist ground, and sphagnum moss (Sphagnum spp.) in the Big Meadows swamp.
Useful references on mosses and liverworts are:
Listing of this website does not and is not intended to imply endorsement by the National Park Service of commercial services or products associated with the sites.
Did You Know?
Although it is native to the Blue Ridge Mountains, much of the beautiful mountain laurel you see blooming along Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive in June was planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. More...