Dark Light
Delicate Fern Moss
Thuidium delicatulum

“This moss is often used as construction material for nests by such songbirds as the Barn Swallow, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Eastern Phoebe, American Robin, Least Flycatcher, Slate-colored Junco, and Prothonotary Warbler

“When colonies of Common Fern Moss are located near streams or pools of water, they are often selected as nest sites by various lungless salamanders, including the Northern Dusky Salamander, Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander, and Four-toed Salamander.

(And the cool fact:) “Common Fern Moss has been found in the digestive tract of a frozen Woolly Mammoth calf in Siberia, although it is unclear if this moss was eaten as a source of food or accidentally while consuming dung (van Geel et al., 2011). From illinoiswildflowers.info

Alternate Names: Common Fern Moss
Size: 1.5–4.5 cm long
Family: Thuidiaceae (Fern Moss Family)
Habitat: Found in deciduous woodlands, wooded bluffs and hillsides, northern edges of pine groves, tree bases near streams in woods, shaded banks of ravines, shaded creek banks, swampy woods, hummocks in tamarack swamps and typical swamps, shaded areas of sandstone cliffs, the base of sandstone walls, wet sandstone boulders in canyons, and underneath trees in hill prairies along rivers. This moss is found in higher quality natural areas. From illinoiswildflowers.info
Identification: This pleurocarpous perennial moss forms a loose mat of evergreen compound leaves that are green to yellowish green and either double-pinnate or triple-pinnate.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
Related Posts
Ebony Spleenwort Leaves

Ebony Spleenwort

When I first identified this lil' guy, I was surprised and giddy to hear that it was something called a "spleenwort," rather than a fern.

Rock Polypody Fern

No, this is not the band name! (anybody? anybody?) It's a really sweet little fern, and maybe, when it's quiet, you can hear it singing.