The key difference between sphagnum moss and sheet moss is that sphagnum moss belongs to genus Sphagnum while sheet moss belongs to genus Hypnum.
Mosses are non-vascular, spore-bearing land plants that belong to Bryophyta. They are seedless plants that lack a complex tissue organization. They have a dominant photosynthetic free-living gametophyte. The sporophyte is dependent on the gametophyte. They help to control soil erosion via absorbing water and covering the soil surface. There are some economically important moss species, especially in the genus Sphagnum. Sphagnum moss is valuable in creating peat bogs as well. Both Sphagnum moss and sheet moss grow as carpet-like mats.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Sphagnum Moss
3. What is Sheet Moss
4. Similarities Between Sphagnum Moss and Sheet Moss
5. Side by Side Comparison – Sphagnum Moss vs Sheet Moss in Tabular Form
What is Sphagnum Moss?
Sphagnum is a genus of mosses containing about 380 accepted species which are soft, pliable, and very water retentive. Dried Sphagnum moss is also referred to as peat moss since Sphagnum mosses are used to produce peat bogs. They are used as soil conditioners. Most importantly, Sphagnum mosses are keystone species that shape their habitat via unique biochemical and morphological adaptations. Sphagnum mosses form unique branch clusters. These mosses prefer to grow on the surface of the soil where the climate is mild, humid, rainy and shaded. However, there are some species that flourish under the full sun as well.
Sphagnum mosses are found all over the world. They prefer acidic soils. Commercially important mosses come from certain areas of the world. There are two forms of commercially available Shapgnum mosses: long-fibered moss (natural form) and milled moss (finely chopped form). Moreover, dried sphagnum mosses catch fire easily; hence, they are excellent tinder materials.
What is Sheet Moss?
Sheet moss or Hypnum curvifolium is a very versatile and adaptable moss species. It is a dioecious non-vascular plant. This moss also prefers to grow in shady places. It is usually a golden-green species.
It is also known as carpet moss since it often forms large carpet-like mats of rocks or soil. Therefore, most people select sheet moss for moss lawns or moss pathways in their yards. Moreover, florists use this moss when constructing flower arrangements. It is also well suited for arts and crafts. Furthermore, it can use as a decorative cover for the house plants. Sheet moss can also act as a fertilizer for plants.
What are the Similarities Between Sphagnum Moss and Sheet Moss?
- Both Sphagnum moss and sheet moss are bryophytes and non-vascular plants.
- They both thrive in shaded areas.
- Moreover, they prefer acidic soils to grow.
- These mosses form carpet-like mats over the soil and rocks.
- Hence, they are commercially valuable species.
- Both have the ability to retain water.
What is the Difference Between Sphagnum Moss and Sheet Moss?
Sphagnum moss is a moss species belonging to genus Sphagnum, which is used to produce peat bogs. Sheet moss, on the other hand, is a Hypnum species that makes an excellent addition to a woodland garden or landscape setting. So, this is the key difference between sphagnum moss and sheet moss. Concerning the uses, the difference between sphagnum moss and sheet moss is that the sphagnum mosses carpet the ground and are important for the creation of peat bogs while sheet moss is important as a fertilizer, as a decorative cover for gardens, when constructing flower arrangements and as moss lawns.
Below infographic lists the important differences between sphagnum moss and sheet moss.
Summary – Sphagnum Moss vs Sheet Moss
Sphagnum moss and sheet moss are two types of mosses which are used as soil conditioners. Sphagnum mosses are useful when creating peat bogs. Sheet mosses are useful as moss lawns and moss pathways in yards. Sphagnum mosses are species of the genus Sphagnum while sheet mosses are species of the genus Hypnum. Thus, this summarizes the difference between sphagnum moss and sheet moss.
1. Kostka, Joel E., et al. “The Sphagnum Microbiome: New Insights from an Ancient Plant Lineage.” New Phytologist Foundation, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 13 May 2016, Available here.
2. Shawn, and Pearce Bunting. “Sheet Moss.” Tn Nursery, Available here.