- Haircap Moss-Polytrichum commune Hardy Planting Zones- 3-9 Sun or Shade – Partial Sun to Full Shade Mature Height - 2-6" Mature Width- 1-27" Bloom Season – n/a Gardener Status- Beginner
Hair Cap Moss - Polytrichum Commune
Hair Cap Moss is a favorite among gardeners who want to create a low-growing backdrop for other plants or an attractive ground cover in a shady part of the garden. Its tiny, thick green leaves form a distinctive starry pattern that is delightful either on its own or as a contrast with taller plants. Its pointed leaves grow in a spiral around its stem, which forms the starry texture. Hair Cap Moss is hardy from Zone 3 to 9. Considered a medium to large moss, it grows in dense mounds up to 8 inches tall, although it can reach up to to 12 inches, an exceptional height for moss. It gains its mature spread of 12 to 14 inches in 2 to 3 years. Like most mosses, this one prefers shade, but it can tolerate partial sun. It also can make do with less moisture than other mosses because of a water-conserving adaptation that is unusual among mosses. The moisture-trapping feature of its leaves allows it to grow to greater heights and survive drier conditions than most other types of moss. Hair Cap Moss thrives in soil rich with decaying matter similar to its native forest habitat, although it can do well in any soil including heavy clay. In its spore-producing stage, tall, wiry stems sprout to about 12 inches. They are topped with reddish-brown spore capsules covered with a tuft of hair, which is what gives the moss its name. Hair Cap Moss is easy to grow in home gardens and landscapes. It can be mowed to a uniform height, but most gardeners prize the moss for its clumping habit. It forms pleasing waves of green that contrast beautifully with flat lawns and vertical-growing flowers and shrubs. It does best when planted in groups covering at least 3 square feet.