World of Mosses website

A Graphic Guide to Ontario Mosses

by Robert Muma




    This Guide is intended only as a graphic aid to PROBABLE GENUS, based on recognizable growth forms of mosses. (The growth forms charted here do not include all genera, and the growth form under which a genus is listed does not always represent all species of that genus.)  It is hoped that a study of the Growth Form Plates will make it easier to use one of the recommended texts on mosses listed in the Bibliography.  For a systematic listing of Ontario genera under class, sub-class, order and family, refer to Ireland and Cain, CHECKLIST OF THE MOSSES OF ONTARIO. 
    If this Guide helps the beginner who is as yet unfamiliar with moss terms, then it will have served its purpose.




    The Author is indebted to Dr. Robert R. Ireland, Curator of Bryophytes, National Museum of Canada, and to Dr. Terry Carleton and Dr. John Krug of the Dept. of Botany, University of Toronto, for their encouragement and help in developing the idea for this Guide.  Also to the Toronto Field Naturalists for their interest in mosses, and for the initial publication of this booklet.


Area Covered


    Although this Guide has been devised for Ontario mosses, like all life-forms, many of our genera are found world-wide and are well distributed over eastern North America.  A few west coast genera have been included in the illustrations for wider interest and broader definition.


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