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Knight’s Plume Moss

Ptilium crista-castrensis

APPEARANCE

Knight’s plume is a green moss with feathery, curly branches.

RANGE & HABITAT

Knight’s plume is a common moss in northern B.C., found at low to subalpine elevations. It will grow on logs, rocks, and trees in mixed and coniferous forests.

LIFE CYCLE

Mosses release spores into the air instead of seeds. In Knight’s plume, there is a brown capsule which grows out of the branches to release these spores.

ANIMAL USES

Because it is so common, it provides habitat (cover) for many small animals and is used as a lining for nests.

TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES

Mosses had many uses with First Nations groups. They were used as a dishcloth, a stuffing for mattresses and pillows and to line cradles and bags. Moss was mixed with pitch in canoe construction and with mud to build log cabins.

MODERN USES

Dried moss is used for decorations, indoor plants, and for packing fragile things.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.plantguide.org

Photo: Kari Pihlaviita