Snow and Freezing Temps
Snow and freezing temperatures signify dormancy or death to most plants BUT NOT MOSSES. Mosses grow in winter weather... not just survive but actually thrive. Most plants exhibit growth patterns between 65-85 degrees F. In contrast, bryophytes can grow in sub-zero temperatures. Add another amazing botanical characteristic to magical mosses -- they produce their own "anti-freeze" to withstand cold conditions.
Visible growth is apparent on this stump with Hypnum expanding out with new tendrils. Even when covered with snow, mosses continue their reproductive cycles. When the snow melts, sporophytes will be revealed or there will be evidence of transitional leaf fragmentation. Leucobryum is featured with snow crystals sparkling among the green mounds. To my delight, mosses offer a range of greens throughout the winter... unless under a winter white blanket of snow. With 4.5 inches of snow last night, all I can see is snow.
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