SPHAGNUM RIPARIUM Ångstr.
Shore-growing Peat Moss
tall plants forming extensive loose carpets.
Plants are pale green with a large terminal bud. Branch leaves are large (1.2-3.5 mm) long,
recurved at tips when dry and concave when moist. Stem leaves are triangular-lingulate (1.3-1.6mm long) with a
conspicuous tear down the middle; hyaline cells are divided, efibrillose.
SIMILAR SPECIES: It
resembles and grows with Sphagnum fallax
but lacks the brownish tinge of that species.
Microscopically, its stem leaves might be mistaken for those of S. girgensohnii. The large terminal bud and large stem leaves
with a conspicuous tear would separate it from other members of the Section
Cuspidata to which it belongs.
TOTAL RANGE: AK, WA, MN, WI, MI, OH, NY, NH, CN.
Circumboreal; scattered throughout Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador west
to British Columbia and Yukon; Japan.
STATE RANGE: Post-1980 record from Stark, pre-1980 record
STATE STATUS: 1986
to present: Endangered.
HABITAT: S. riparium forms loose carpets in wet
minerotrophic sites such as open bog mats (often near the water's edge),
occasionally in roadside ditches.
of habitat; invasion of aggressive non-native species such as Phragmites australis.
Unknown, possibly good if water chemistry could be controlled.
Collect entire plants, including stems and capitula.
species has a rather “silky” feel to it in the field. While not growing submerged in water, it is often found in the
wettest areas of the bog mat.
Unsuccessful attempts have been made to locate this species in similar
habitats. This species is rare and
scattered throughout its range.
1980. Sphagnaceae (Peat Moss
Family) of New York State.
Contributions to a Flora of New York State III. New York State Museum Bulletin No. 442. Albany, NY.
1984. Sphagnopsida. North America Flora Series II, pt. 11. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx,
N.Y. 180 p.
Crum, H.A. and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of Eastern
North America. Volumes 1 & 2. Columbia University Press. NY. 1328 p.
1990. Field Guide to the Peat
Mosses of Boreal North America.
University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 138 p.
Division of Natural
Areas and Preserves
Ohio Department of
Created: 4/2001 Barbara K. Andreas
Database Code: SPPL.435