Mosses

MS_PolytriStadtkatze
Polytrichum sp. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Stadtkatze/flickr.com

Scientific Name: Bryophyta

Status: Extant (alive today)

Oldest fossil anywhere: Carboniferous of England (about 325 million years old)

Oklahoma fossil record: There are no reported macrofossils of mosses from Oklahoma.

Mosses are generally small plants that live in damp habitats. Mosses, like liverworts and hornworts, do not have seeds, roots or vascular tissue. They have simple leaves and use spores to reproduce.

The largest moss, named Dawsonia superba, may exceed 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall and grows in Australia and neighboring islands in the Pacific.