Mosses and Liverworts

green moss on gray and red novaculite, dead leaf on top of moss, lichen on novaculite on lower left of photo

NPS Photo by Gail Sears

There are at least 12,000 species of moss that exist all over the world (except in salt water). The most common species are the ones that exist in shady locations and create a carpet across woodlands and forest floors.

Mosses are great for preventing soil erosion, as they are capable of absorbing vast amounts of water. Additionally, mosses can break down different layers of soil and release nutrients for other plants to utilize.

These resilient plants have existed for at least 250 million years and are so diverse, that many do not have "common names." Below you'll find a list of the most common species of moss that have been documented in Hot Springs National Park.

Mosses of Hot Springs National Park

These mosses from the Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, were collected by Dr. Jewel E. Moore, retired Professor of Biology, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Arkansas, and identified by Steve L. Timme, Institute for Botanical Exploration, Mississippi State, Mississippi.

  • Fissidentaceae
  • Fissidens adiantoides Hedw.
  • Fissidens bryoides Hedw.
  • Fissidens bushii (Card. & Ther.) Card. & Ther.
  • Fissidens cristatus Wils. ex Mitt.
  • Fissidens subbasilaris Hedw.
  • Fissidens taxifolius Hedw.

  • Ditrichaceae
  • Ceratodon purpureus (Hedw.) Brid.
  • Ditrichum pallidum (Hedw.) Hampe
  • Ditrichum pusillum (Hedw.) Hampe
  • Seligeriaceae
  • Seligera calcarea (Hedw.) B.S.G.
  • Seligera pusilla (Hedw.) B.S.G.
  • Dicranaceae
  • Dicranella heteromalla (Hedw.) Schimp.
  • Dicranum condensatum Hedw.
  • Dicranum fulvum Hook.
  • Dicranum montanum Hedw.
  • Dicranum scoparium Hedw.
  • Leucobryaceae
  • Leucobryum albidum (Brid. ex P.-Beauv.) Lindb.
  • Leucobryum glaucum (Hedw.) Angstr. ex Fr.

  • Pottiaceae Desmatodon plinthobius Sull. & Lesq. ex Sull.
  • Didymodon tophaceus (Brid.) Lisa
  • Hyophila involuta (Hook.) Jaeg. & Sauerb.
  • Tortella humilis (Hedw.) Jenn.
  • Weissia controversa Hedw.
  • Grimmiaceae
  • Grimmia laevigata (Brid.) Brid.
  • Funariaceae
  • Funaria hygrometrica Hedw.
  • Bryaceae
  • Bryum argenteum Hedw.
  • Bryum bicolor Dicks.
  • Bryum capillare Hedw. Bryum lisae DeNot. var. cuspidatum (B.S.G.) Marg.
  • Bryum pseudotriquetrum (Hedw.) Gaertn, Meyer & Schreb.
  • Leptobryum pyriforme (Hedw.) Wils.
  • Pohlia nutans (Hedw.) Lindb.
  • Mniaceae
  • Mnium cuspidatum Hedw.
  • Ptychomitriaceae
  • Ptychomitrium incurvum (Schwaegr.) Spruce
  • Orthotrichaceae
  • Orthotrichum pusillum Mitt.
  • Orthotrichum strangulatum P.-Beauv.
  • Hedwigiaceae
  • Hedwigia ciliata (Hedw.) P.-Beauv.
  • Cryphaeaceae
  • Cryphaea ravenelii Aust.
  • Forsstroemia trichomitria (Hedw.) Lindb.
  • Leucodontaceae
  • Leucodon julaceus (Hedw.) Sull.
  • Neckeraceae
  • Thamnobryum alleghaniense (C. Muell.) Nieuwl.

  • Theliaceae
  • Thelia hirtella (Hedw.) Sull.
  • Thelia lescurii Sull.
  • Fabroniaceae
  • Anacamptodon sphachnoides (F. Froel. ex Brid.) Brid.
  • Clasmatodon parvulus (Hampe) Hook. & Wils. ex Sull.
  • Fabronia ravenelii Sull.
  • Schwetschkeopsis fabronia (Schwaegr.) Broth.
  • Leskeaceae
  • Leskea gracilescens Hedw.
  • Lindbergia brachyptera (Mitt.) Kindb.
  • Thuidiaceae
  • Anomodon attenuatus (Hedw.) Hueb.
  • Anomodon minor (Hedw.) Furnr.
  • Anomodon rostratus (Hedw.) Schimp.
  • Haplohymenium triste (Ces. ex DeNot.) Kindb.
  • Thuidium delicatulum (Hedw.) B.S.G.
  • Thuidium recognitum (Hedw.) Lindb.
  • Amblystegiaceae (sensu Redfearn, 1972)
  • Amblystegium riparium (Hedw.) B.S.G.
  • Amblystegium tenax (Hedw.) C. Jenn.
  • Amblystegium varium (Hedw.) Lindb.
  • Campylium hispidulum (Brid.) Mitt.
  • Platydictya confervoides (Brid.) Mitt.
  • Platydictya subtile (Hedw.) Crum
  • Brachytheciaceae (sensu Redfearn, 1972)
  • Brachythecium acuminatum (Hedw.) Aust.
  • Brachythecium oxycladon (Brid.) Jaeg. & Sauerb.
  • Brachythecium rutabulum (Hedw.) B.S.G.
  • Brachythecium serrulatum (Hedw.) Robins.
  • Bryoandersonia illecebra (Hedw.) Robins.
  • Rhychostegium pulchellum (Hedw.) Robins.
  • Entodontaceae Entodon cladorrhizans (Hedw.) C. Muell.
  • Entodon seductrix (Hedw.) C. Muell.
  • Plagiotheciaceae (sensu Redfearn, 1972)
  • Isopterygiopsis muelleriana (Schimp.) Iwats.
  • Isopterygium elegans (Brid.) Lindb.
  • Isoptyergium tenerum (Sw.) Mitt.
  • Plagiothecium cavifolium (Brid.) Iwats.
  • Sematophyllaceae
  • Sematophyllum adnatum (Michx.) Britt.
  • Hypnaceae
  • Homoallium adnatum (Hedw.) Broth.
  • Platygyrium repens (Brid.) B.S.G.
  • Pylaisiella selwynii (Kindb.) Crum, Steere & Anderson
  • Buxbaumiaceae
  • Diphyscium foliosum (Hedw.) Mohr.

  • Polytrichaceae
  • Atrichum angustatum (Brid.) B.S.G.
  • Atrichum undulatum (Hedw.) P.-Beauv.
  • Pogonatum brachyphyllum (Michx.) P.-Beauv.
  • Pogonatum pensilvanicum (Hedw.) P.-Beauv.
  • Polytrichum commune Hedw.
  • Polytrichum juniperinum Hedw.
  • Polytrichum ohioense Ren. & Card.

Identification of additional mosses from the Hot Springs National Park have revealed two which have never before been reported from the state, and a variety of another which has not previously been reported. The additions to the state checklist are:

  • Bryum lisae var. cuspidatum (B.S.G.) Marg., Schwetschkeopsis fabronia (Schwaegr.) Broth.
  • Ditrichum pusillum (Hedw.) Hampe.
Looking up towards the sky, the outline of tree branches is shadowed against the sky.
Trees & Shrubs

The mountains surrounding Hot Springs National Park are covered with deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. Explore their world.

Tall grass along the side of the Grand Promenade paved trail.

Grasses are not only a food source for some animals, but they also play an important ecological role. Learn more about grasses in the Park.

A box turtle hides in its shell.

Learn about the wildlife in the Park.

Thermal water flows over a blue-green algae filled crevice in tufa rock.
Natural Features & Ecosystems

Learn about the geologic features, thermal springs, and natural features that make Hot Springs National Park unique.

Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Hot Springs, AR 71901


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