Moss, Lichen and Fungi are popping up all over, like seedlings sprouting in spring, which I guess they actually are. Maybe sporelings instead of seedlings. Added: The proper term seems to be Fruiting bodies. Thanks, Nell Jean! Above is British soldier lichen, Cladonia cristatella growing on the cedar boards of the blueberry box.
The conditions are right, there has been ample rain and the heat is hiding behind sweeping cold fronts coming down from Canada and beyond here at the Fairegarden in Southeastern Tennessee.
Mosses are Bryophytes, without inner plumbing for transporting water through their system although they do like moisture along with shady conditions. Moss has no roots, but rather filaments that take up nutrients, and the tiniest of leaves that absorb moisture.
Patience is its own reward with moss growing. My avatar, the vivacious Mrs. Bongo Congo, made from a dollop of leftover hypertufa mix during trough making, is turning from pink to green, becoming one with the garden. I approve. (For the backstory of the Bongo Congos, click here.
Lichens are not true mosses, but are compound organisms existing together in a symbiotic relationship, a fungus and a photosynthetic, usually algae. Like moss, lichens can grow on rocks or wood, as epiphytes, meaning without soil. Some lichens are extremely sensitive to changes in the air quality, and are used by science to gauge air pollution and ozone depletion. So lichens are more than just a pretty face.
They add Zen to the Zen Garden, (click here to learn about it), colonizing on Christopher’s rocks.
The total degradation of Ferngully, (click here for his story), is nearly complete, with the help of happy Fungi.