Moss Stash in PERIL!

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Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:19 pm

I harvested this moss last year from my neighbor's parking lot.



I was showing a fellow bonsai enthusiast my "secret" stash only to find out my neighbor srayed it all with a weed killer. Haven'te figured out yet if it will all die back or not. It appears fairly persistant. (He said he won't spray it again.)

I just planted it into a small bonsai dish as an accent plant. As soon as my wife gets my camera back to me I'll post the new photos.

I would love to identify the species of moss and the little green and red growth growing in it. I would like to plant the smaller plant in accent plant pots.

forbey

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:05 pm

Fear not, forbey. The streets around my house are all cobbled, with copious amounts of moss scattered betwixt and between them. Every so often, a man from the council comes round with his Ghostbusters backpack on and squirts weedkiller on anything green. So far, he's killed half a dozen shrubs, loads of grass and a couple of cats, but the moss resolutely refuses to yield to his ministrations.

Never mind cockroaches, after the bomb drops I reckon that the next dominant lifeform on Earth will be moss!

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:56 pm

The photo I posted is of moss I transplanted this past Monday into a small bonsai dish as an accent plant. I'm thinking of filling in the voids with fine sand and adding a "hole pin" and making it a really-mini-golf green. Laughing

It is currently with a horticultural expert for the purpose of acurately classifying the moss and the additional plant-life. I have since refilled the plastic dish with more moss (some of the sprayed stuff. Hopefully, rinsing taily with fresh water will help it remaive any residual chemicals and bring it back.

Here is the original (non-sprayed) moss prior to repotting:



And after repotting:



This stuff is super green, looks like a mini lawn and grows in full sun on asphalt and concrete (also under a school bus. Hopefully, it will be the source of moss for many bonsai.

I hope it makes it back OK.

forbey


Last edited by Jay Gaydosh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  elroy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:12 pm

If the spray was glyphosate (Roundup TM), it will not kill the moss only the real plants.

Elroy

forbey wrote:The photo I posted is of moss I transplanted this past Monday into a small bonsai dish as an accent plant. I'm thinking of filling in the vois with fine sand and adding a "hole pin" and making it a really-mini-golf green. Laughing

It is currently with a horticultural expert for the purpose of acurately classifying the moss and the additional plant-life. I have since refilled the plastic dish with more moss (some of the sprayed stuff. Hopefully, rinsing taily with fresh water will help it remaive any residual chemicals and bring it back.

This stuff is super green, looks like a mini lawn and grows in full sun on asphalt and concrete (also under a school bus. Hopefully, it will be the source of moss for many bonsai.

I hope it makes it back OK.

forbey

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:37 am

forbey wrote:
This stuff is super green, looks like a mini lawn and grows in full sun on asphalt and concrete
forbey
It is called emerald moss & is a species of Bryum. I don't remember the species name. It is one of the two best species of bonsai moss, I have been told. The other is silver moss, Bryum argenteum.
Now you have pressed the button to tell the famous Canadian moss story. jocolor
There is a certain square in Toronto paved with bricks. Moss thrives there, and members of the Toronto Bonsai Society harvest it periodically. The square happens to be surrounded by grocery & health food stores. One day, several members of TBS were down on their hands & knees collecting moss. A lady came out of a health food store carrying two shopping bags. She stopped to watch the moss collectors, and finally asked, 'But how do you cook it?'
Iris

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:54 pm

I certainly hope someone was quick enough to provide her a recipe!

Thanks,

I'll pull up what I can find on the web and pass it on. With any luck the University of Illinois Extension horticulturist will find the same info.

There is, also, another plant growing in the moss. It has a red stem and Jade-like leaves. I'm looking to harvest some and plant it in a really small pot.

Thanks,

forbey

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:55 pm

The moss in the neighbors parking lot appears to be recovering. The small, post-herbacidal moss I collected is recovering faster, most likely due to the frequent flushing with clean water (Yanno, that whole watering thing! Laughing ) The stuff growing wild has recently received a lot of rain, with more predicted, so I hope to harvest a few flats more before winter.

This past weekend, while walking my dogs around the city square, I have found several dozen beds of the same moss mostly adjacent to where air conditioner drains empty on the sidewalk.

With any luck, I will have a plethera of moss. (or in redneck fishing terms, a "mess o moss".

I brought my original moss to our last bonsai club meeting and managed to get some photos using a cigar box as a plant stand. (The first photo seems like I still need to make adjustments between the camera and my reading glasses. It's an aging eye thing.) I used the cigar box because I had a collection of boxes in my truck and the gent with the bonsai stands hadn't arrived at that point. The following photos are after allowing the moss to settle in and grow. I've periodically plucked any additional material as it appears and have ended up with a lovely patch of lawn.





The dimples and divits are filling in nicely. It even appears to be rising, almost like bread dough.
At some point I plan on seperating it into multiple containers and allow it to spread. (Or just keeping this one growing and work with the new moss.)

Along with the other sources of this type of moss, I also plan on going out to the cemetary outside of town, they have several, shade-loving mosses that have different "personalities".

I'm kind of digging growing moss. (pun intended!)

Jay


Last edited by Jay Gaydosh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added photos)

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:43 pm

I found a website for a company called "Moss Acres" They picture a moss called "cushion moss" and list it as a Leucobryum. Although their cushion moss prefers shade. I sent a copy of photo 2 to them to see if they can identify it. (More close up photos may be required.)
Moss Acres states on their website that moss prefer an almost nutrient-free substrate.

Gee, Clay, grit and pine bark, sounds like the perfect bedding Very Happy !

Most of the bonsai around here feature a very course textured moss, nothing as fine as this emerald beauty.

Jay

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  fiona on Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:47 pm

Jay Gaydosh wrote: I also plan on going out to the cemetary outside of town,
At least you're not likely to get complaints from the residents. Unless you go on October 31st that is. Laughing

And there was me thinking I was the only one who got excited about moss. I once had the experience of having a very helpful policeman hold up traffic in a Glasgow street while I liberated some moss from a central reservation. I think he probably thought it safer to humour me than arrest me. Mind you, he was only about 14, or is that that thing about police officers looking young when you get older?

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:50 pm

I know the feeling. I show up outside abusiness on the city square and ask if they mind if I collect some moss. After some squirrelly looks they usually tell me to take it all. (I always leave a tad for seed material! Twisted Evil )

I'm finding that I'm lichen this moss stuff almost as much as me bonsai!

Jay

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  JimLewis on Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:57 pm

I remember walking down a narrow street in Kariazawa, Japan a few years ago and coming across one of the fabled moss gardens/lawns. It was about half an acre, shaded and sunny, and there must have been a zillion species of moss planted to make up a gorgeous green, silver and orange-ish -- with a bit of yellow and red tossed in for good measure. Gorgeous.

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  David Brunner on Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:12 am

I'm kind of digging growing moss.[quote]

I might suggest a text that could interest you, since you "dig growing moss..." It's "Moss Gardening: including Lichens, Liverworts, and Other Miniatures" by George Schenk. Published by: Timber Press, Portland Oregon, 1997. In it, I think you'll discover, if you agree with my conclusion, that your find is a species of Leucobryum, probably Leucobryum glaucum - but there are many species and I am not a competent Bryologist. (That requires using a compound microscope, something I gave up for lent many decades ago and never took up again...)

For many years I worked in management at botanical gardens. One of the techniques we would employ to encourage bryophytes (mosses) in selected locations was the application of herbicides, particularly “round-up”. Most herbicides have no effect on mosses, but in restricting the untrammeled growth of higher plants, they give these pre-vascular plants an opening for colonization. Please recall, that mosses were among the first species to colonize dry land - and they retain to this day their penchant for latching on to "open space.” However, as all of us have observed in our own pots and gardens, they don't stand up well to competition from those "new-comers" with vascular tissue and tall growing habits and loads of thirsty hair roots. The application of herbicides that knock back the vascular upstarts gives the old-timers a leg up.

Thanks for the fun! And in your pursuit of bryophytes, beware the liverworts (no this is not the jabberwock – something far more real). If you are developing colonies of Marchantia or other liverworts, you are over watering or have too much organic matter in your soil mix and are at risk of serious root problems. But the true bryophytes are not much of problem unless they built up large colonies on the trunk and major roots. If this happens the moist acidic environment that the bryophytes develop can be destructive to the bark and epidermis of the host tree.

Again, thanks for the fun,
David Brunner

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:02 am

Great information.

Thanks,

Jay

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  fiona on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:32 am

Well now here's a thing: I wandered through to the computer this morning clutching my own copy of Schenk ready to tell you about it, only to find David has beaten me to it.

I agree wholeheartedly with him that this is an excellent book and a relatively easy read for experts and those with only a smattering of botanical education alike. There is a chapter devoted to bonsai mosses which you might find quite useful as well as interesting. I certainly did, once I had recovered from a very immature fit of giggles at the nickname his friend had given him which quite clearly has a different (and more innocent) connotation in the US than it does over here. Mad

If your local bookstore doesn't have it, it is available at Timber Press's online store. I'm fairly certain that's how I got mine.

Enjoy the book, and then go harvest with renewed vigour to complement your new knowledge. But as David says, beware frumious bandersnatches as you gyre and gimble through the Lincoln wabes.

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:42 am

fiona wrote:... But as David says, beware frumious bandersnatches as you gyre and gimble through the Lincoln wabes.

Youse guys are gonna make me do my homework. aren't you! Question

I figured you were going gaelic on me, got them all.

Hmmm, "bandersnatch", some here might infer that I resemble that remark! Twisted Evil

Jay

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  David Brunner on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:01 pm

Hello Jay – to avoid your having to spend too much time in “uffish” thought, or in searching the “manxsome” reference… we were having fun with references to Jabberwocky, a poem included in “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There” written by Lewis Carroll in 1872.

Fiona – sorry for stepping on your toes with my preemptive strike at the Schenk reference. And btw, the nickname and connotation you refer to are now well known here as well thanks to the expressive fulminations of Austin Powers at every neighborhood Cineplex 200.

David

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:03 pm

Iwas able to get the definitions, but I was never an "Alice" fan. Thanks for the refresher. Of all the definitions only frumious was connected to Carrol.

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:48 pm

Mossy Update:

I was told it was called "Sidewalk Moss" by Heidi from Moss Acres. So I looked up "Bryum & Sidewalk Moss" and located this in Gardenweb.com:


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Posted by deep_woods z5 central IL (My Page) on Mon, Jul 31, 06 at 22:51


These two sunny mosses can be found all over North America in the cracks of sidewalks and asphalt paving:
Bryum Caespiticium, pronounced "Bri-um sespeeteesee-um", is called the "green sidewalk moss" and

Bryum argenteum, pronounced "Bri-um argentee-um", goes by the common name the "silver sidewalk moss".

Both are in the genus Bryum and both can take full sun, if need be. They are both used extensively as bonsai moss. Also many gardeners desire these mosses for the cracks in their garden pathways. I don’t know of any place you can buy them but they are very common. I could find B. caespiticium in downtown Chicago in five minutes and B. argenteum in ten minutes. But as hot as it has been lately they can be hard to recognize in their dehydrated state. Last year I helped my bryology mentor at a bioblitz in Busey Woods in Champaign, Illinois. We took a break from walking through the woods and Mac said "let’s not forget to inventory the sidewalk mosses. Let’s go out to the parking lot, I’m sure we’ll find them there." Last year was dryer than this year and almost as hot. We split up in the parking lot and after five minutes I went over to Mac and said " There’s no moss in this parking lot". He proceeded to pick up small sand crusted pieces of detritus and identify both B. caespiticium and B. argenteum. Up close B. argenteum has a pretty blue green cast to it.

On my photobucket album I have two pixs, one labeled Bryum caespiticium which is a fully hydrated growing example and the other pix is Bryum Caespiticium2 which has three sods of B. caespiticium. Click on the second pix to enlarge the photo. In this second pix the sod on the left which is dry in this picture grows in full sun four to six hours per day and has received water whenever it rains, and the rains have been adequate this summer. I keep this sod and others like it on sand on a clay saucer which has drainage holes in it. The sod on the right is from a plastic tray that sits also outside but in the shade on the north side of my porch. It gets no direct light but bright indirect light. This sod sits on plastic which never drains unless I remember to tip the tray after a big rain. The moss gets drenched but is never under water or completely water logged. This sod is growing very rapidly. I suspect the darker color of the sod on the left is the moss reacting to the bright light.

And the third sod in the middle is B. caespiticium as I found it today on a sidewalk at the base of the Dollar General building brick wall in downtown Galesburg, Illinois where this moss gets full sun eight or more hours per day. Because of its’ location this sod only gets water infrequently. This moss sod is dry and does not appear to be alive but I had broken off a piece of this sod and watered it and it came to life in a few minutes.

Notice how the two dried moss sods have sand grains showing. This is because the tiny moss leaves have closed up against the tiny stems and you can clearly see the sand but not really much of the moss leaves while the moss is dehydrated. The moss on the right also has sand but you cannot see the sand in the sod because the moss leaves are fully hydrated and widespread.
At my home I also have Bryum caespiticium growing on black dirt at the base of a tree on the tree’s north side. This moss is more "fluffy" with the moss leaves even more widespread and the moss taller. Sometimes even the simplest of mosses display much differently under different environmental conditions making you think that you have different species. These two mosses are examples of sunny mosses that are easy to propagate and under the right conditions they will grow and expand rapidly.

Rick

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Plus I got complimented on my bonsai moss by a professional moss retailer! cheers

Jay

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  fiona on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:24 pm

David Brunner wrote: Fiona, btw, the nickname and connotation you refer to are now well known here as well thanks to the expressive fulminations of Austin Powers at every neighborhood Cineplex 200.
Hi David, my beamish boy. I think we just did more for George Schenk's sales potential than any amount of advertising as a good number of people now probably want to know what the reference was to. Laughing

nb There is also absolutely no truth in the rumour that I was in that movie - either as a kamikaze fembot or the Scottish character called em... well ... I'm sure they can google!

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:44 pm

Boy that brings back bad memories!

I was playing the pipes with the St. Andrews Pipes & Drums of Springfield, IL at the Anual Ethnic Festival, located in the Ethnic Village of the Illinois State Fairgrounds. I was talking to my wife when a 5 or 6 year old boy walked up and asked me if I was the FB? We damned near rolled on the lawn, we laughed so hard. I should have just leaned over and yelled "Get in my belly!" That would have scared the heck out of him. His mother apologized 5 or 6 times, like it WASN'T one of the adults that made the original reference in the first place.

Jay

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  David Brunner on Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:25 pm

Fiona - to Mr. Schenk's sales I say Callooh! Callay! He deserves every vorpal penny! And don't worry; I won't reveal the secret that you actually appeared as Felicity "fill in the blank."

Jay - any resemblance you may bare to FB is certainly exaggerated, however in the kilt.... Hmmm...

I'm still not certain that the moss you have shown is Bryum argenteum, but its a very good start. Let it dry out a bit and see if it turns very silver - then you will know for certain.

You might be interested to note that in Schenk's book he refers to low growing, tightly clumped mosses such as yours as “jogger’s mosses.” When I first looked back into the book to understand Fiona’s reference, I thought she might have been using some obscure Gaelic interpretation of this – but alas all a Google search on this turned up was “jogger’s nipples” and I was reasonably certain that this was not the “Britainism” to which she was referring.

Thanks again for the fun – I’m sure our fellow forum readers are tiring of this tirade…

David

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:33 pm

First, I've been BIGGER, even in the kilt.

Second, I believe the moss is Bryum caespiticium, pronounced "Bri-um sespeeteesee-um", is called the "green sidewalk moss". I even found it on a sidewalk/parking lot.

Third, there's no such thing as too much fun. (Bagpipers, we put the FUN back in FUNeral!)

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  David Brunner on Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:41 pm

Jay – since you say there is no such thing as too much fun, let me indulge myself – and potentially test your hypothesis...

First the genus Bryum is huge: there are over 500 species worldwide, and the identification of these species is largely determined by microscopic features of the reproductive structures. So... in my estimation, calling this Bryum sp. aff. is probably as close as we lay folk will get with any certainty. But if you are certain that this is Bryum ceaspiticum, then you might also like to know that this is an outdated name – the currently accepted name for the species is Ptychostomum angustifolium. This ID is probably not far from the mark since it’s a globally distributed species that is common in disturbed areas.

Have I tested your limits of fun? I have no mal intent, but for me, and a very few others on the planet, the taxonomy of plants is a passion and pleasure, so your admonition of “no such thing as too much fun” fairly called for a response.

Thanks again – and I wish you the best with bryophytes, they are the least appreciated and yet most ubiquitous of plants.

David

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:58 am

I don't normally consider myself dense, but I don't consider the discussion regarding the Bryum sp. to have anything to do with the discussion of fun, so I don't grasp the connection.

As for one or two species of Bryum mentioned, I was referring to the two referenced by Rick (who as it turns out is a Rick Smith, who has written, I was told, several books on growing and idenifying moss, lichen and liverworts.) His Gardenweb selection identified a Bryum a. and a Bryum c. While both were listed as the primary direct sun tolerant species in North America, one was listed as silver and one was green, based on the emerald color of mine, I would say that it is a green sidewalk moss, aka Bryum c. (ADDED NOTE: I MISSED YOUR SUGGESTION THAT I ALLOW IT TO DRY A BIT AND SEE IF IT TURNS SILVER, NO IT DOES NOT, IT TURNS A YUCKY SHADE OF GREEN.) In a previous post you stated you didn't think it was Bryum a.; OK, neither did I. This has also the educated guess of the production manager (I think I got her position right, Heidi, from Moss Acres. Iris suggested that it might be Emerald Moss, but Emerald moss is not very tolerant of long periods of direct sunlight and this grows strong on asphalt and concrete located on an east west street and at times gets16 to 18 hours of direct sunlight and thrives.

As for changes in taxonomy, I can't keep up with it all, but I have managed to take a gnat infested patch of moss and turn it into a lovely emerald lawn in an old bonsai dish.

So digest it all, make room for a modicum of error, since I am not a moss expert, but comparing what has been discussed, is it more likely to be Bryum c (green) or Bryum a. (silver) and does this have anything to do with fun, or was that a reference to comparrisons to words from Alice in Wonderland.

I'm not sure I'm any more confused or clear, but I am having fun!

AND! Since I am a 52 year old juvenile delinquent, I stand by my claim that there is no such thing as too much fun!

Jay

PS: Sorry for the YELLING in the middle, I just wanted to make sure I responded to your request and highlight it so it was not missed.)

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Re: Moss Stash in PERIL!

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:10 pm

Back to the topic at hand.

Visited my moss stash this past weekend. It is apparently true that moss aren't overly concerned with herbicides. After 2 days of rain, the entire area is splotched with bright green pads of moss, again.

I managed to take the areas surrounding 3 concrete tire stops, remove the majority of the moss and then crumbled what was left back onto the loose sand and debris to "reseed" the area.

The harvested crop is now resting nicely in a dish strainer/drying rack. I lined it with screen wire, laid down an inch or so of bonsai mix and pushed the moss into it to make good contact. Finally I watered well.

We'll see just how well this feral moss takes to domestication!

Jay

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