Rhizomnium glabrescens “Fan Moss” Bryales

Deception Pass State Park, Whidbey Island, WA
August 18, 2014
Robert Niese

These mosses are very common in wet forests throughout the western PNW and appear to be particularly fond of rotting logs and rocks. They are a very leafy species of moss and are often mistaken for vascular plants. The star-shaped structures shown here are the sperm-bearing male gametophytes (full of antheridia). This particular arrangement of leaves allows the sperm to splash out of the antheridia whenever it rains. So next time you’re wandering around a wet PNW forest in the rain, I hope you think about moss sex. Learn more about the biology of these mosses here!