Humble mosses, often overlooked, are among the earliest land plants (dating back some 450 million years) and the most ancient living organisms in this forest. Mosses have tiny stems and leaves but no flowers, seeds or roots. Instead they are anchored in place by filaments called rhizoids and draw their nutrients from rainwater and the atmosphere. Look closely at the carpets of mosses growing everywhere on logs, rocks and trees bases, and you will realize that these miniature gardens often comprise many kinds of mosses. There are 464 verified species and varieties of mosses in Ontario alone.
The miniature world of mosses
(photo Bob Fanning)
The Starkey Hill Interpretive Trail is jointly managed by the Guelph Hiking Trail Club and the Grand River Conservation AuthorityGrand River Conservation Authority
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