Bryophytes at Caddo NG

Bryophytes are a group of non-vascular plants that includes mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. This group does not produce seeds but instead produces spores. We saw a wide assortment of them. Most will have to be ID’d at later date.

Ditrichum pallidum is one moss that catches your eye with the tall slender sporophytes. A common name for it is Golden thread moss. Spring is a great time to look for it. And it can be found in many places in North Texas.
In this photo, you can see several different leaf shapes which indicates several species.
This moss looked like tight cords.
Capsules are always fun to observe with the different shapes and colors.
Here was a moss with red stems or seta!

Yellow capsules poke up like little heads above the leaves!
Next up a simple thalloid liverwort! Tentatively ID’d as a Petalophullum in the field. I bet it would be interesting to look at under the microscope. Ok, all of them are. LOL.
The green umbrellas (i.e. female gametophyte) of a thalloid liverwort. The spores are in the ball shaped things under the green part. These are fairly easy to spot if you are looking for the tiny stuff. Some that we found were up to 1/2 inch tall. These were not that tall.

My knife gives you a scale.
In fact the leafy liverworts are even tinier than the thalloid liverworts. And sometimes they are not even green like this example!
The final type of bryophyte, a hornwort. Now this one is immature specimen so it does not have the horns yet. It is also fairly small. Once I knew what to look for they were easy to spot with the darker green compared to the mosses.

On the last day, we found some hornworts that had some nice sized horns! However nice size means they were less than 5mm. 🙂

Hanging heads!
Final photo of a huge patch of Pogonatum moss! Moreover this is the biggest patch of this species moss either of us had ever seen. Indeed, spectacular!

Moreover Fannin County will now be well documented for species of bryophytes!

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Great recap of the Caddo trip through the “eyes” of the tiny bryophytes.
    Enjoyed the eider ducks- what a collaboration and tradition.

  2. I may not ever care about ID’ing the bryophytes or lichens, but I sure do enjoy looking at them closely and photographing them.

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