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Old 10-27-2014, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default The moss will persist

I am reading a book The Signature Of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. A character in the fictional novel studies and writes about moss, which got me looking into the non-fiction story of moss. This happens to me a lot.

Quote:
Under shelves of exposed limestone, moss colonies create dripping, living sponges that hold on tight and drink
calciferous water straight from the stone.
Over time, this mix of moss and mineral will turn itself into
travertine marble.
Within the creamy white marble surface, one will forever see
the blue ,green , and gray -the traces of the antidiluvian moss
settlements. St peter's Basilica itself was built with the stuff,
both created by and stained with the bodies of ancient moss colonies.
Her is some of the stuff that collaborates the writer's research.

Guess Who's Been Waiting In The Lobby For A Hundred Million Years? : Krulwich Wonders... : NPR

A video tribute with loads of information that you might enjoy.



Do you have any information or good links to the world of moss?
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:51 PM   #2
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You always have such interesting finds, Gloria. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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I love mossy areas...and moss-covered rocks. They always make me think of places seeming permanent and old--now I know why!
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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That is very interesting Gloria. I have an area on my property that is very shady and lots of moss grows there. I love moss. When I dig a plant with moss on the soil I try to put it back so it doesn't get buried.
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Old 10-28-2014, 03:17 PM   #5
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How much do you know about the vanilla orchid? I am finding that I knew very little. How amazing is the diversity of life?
BTW, this also came from The Signature Of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert...
Quote:
What makes the vanilla orchid so troublesome to pollinate is the exceptionally long column, you see, which contains both male and female organs.
The rostellum-right here-separates the two, to prevent the plant from pollinating itself. You simply need to life the rostellum,and then insert a small twig
into the pollinia cluster, and gather up the pollen on the tip of the twig, and then reinsert the twig into the stamen of a different blossom.
Vanilla planifolia -- Life History

Quote:
For a very long time, Mexico was the sole grower of Vanilla planifolia, because vanilla had no natural pollinators elsewhere in the world. Attempts were made to introduce the plants to other locations with similar climates and environments, but without that specific pollinator all attempts were, as you could say, “fruitless.” The flowers bloomed, but no vanilla pods were produced. Much later, it was later found to be pollinated chiefly by a small bee called the Melipona bee, and also hummingbirds.
Vanilla planifolia is hermaphroditic (containing both male and female parts) and the flower itself is self-fertile, but incapable of self pollination. Vanilla’s pollen is also largely inaccessible to most pollinating insects. It requires outside action to either transfer pollen from an anther to the stigma, or lift the thin-membrane preventing self-fertilization, or rostellum, and press the flower's anther to the stigma. Vanilla planifolia, and many other species of flowering plants require double fertilization to fruit, an adaptation that allows the flower to concentrate its energy on producing seeds that have the best chance at growth and survival. If the flower is cross pollinated, as often done by insects, the seeds are viable, and can produce further generations of viable offspring. If the flower is self-pollinated, however, it produces only sterile seeds.

The biggest advancement in vanilla growth and pollination happened in 1841, through a discovery by Edmond Albius, a slave on the island of Réunion. Albius discovered the way by which the rostellum could be lifted out of the way using a small stick or blade of grass, so that the pollen could be manually passed from the anther to the stigma. Now practically all vanilla is produced by hand pollination
https://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=409

Quote:
Push up the anther and remove pollinia. Press the yellow pollen mass out and hold it firmly with the right thumb and right index finger so it won't fall off. With the right middle finger push the anther back to raise the cap underneath it. Then with the left thumbnail peel down the front of the column about one-quarter of an inch. With the right thumb and index finger place pollen on ridge, push peeling back in place with left hand and cap down on top of it with right hand. By the second day the stem turns downward and begins to elongate. Flowers do not fall off, but wither to dark brown. The best time of day to pollinate seemed to be between 11 a.m. and 12 noon. Earlier in the day the pollen was less ripened and very hard to handle or place on the column.


Home Orchid Growing, there is a gimmick to pollinating Vanilla flowers. Quoting from her book - "Hand pollination was a mystery. Placing the pollen on what appeared to be the stigma produced no results. Finally, a Creole worker discovered that the stigma was covered by a shield, which had to be lifted in order to place the pollen on the stigma. After pollination, the shield snaps back into place."
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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The video is great. I have mossy areas I've been cultivating earnestly for the past several years, I love it so much. And I will read more. I was struck by the initial quote about the formation of marble and the association between moss and limestone. I think of moss as needing a more acidic environment. It doesn't do so well for me near newer concrete although I have seen it growing on concrete blocks. Thanks for very welcome information. I need to go read more.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:44 AM   #7
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Here is an interesting article on growing moss.

How To Grow Moss | Moss and Stone Gardens


Quote:
All mosses can be classified as 2 types: Acrocarpous and Pleurocarpous

Acrocarpous mosses have an upright growth habit.
As defined by Encyclopedia.com, Acrocarpous Moss - A type of moss in which the archegonia (i.e. female sex organs), and hence the capsules are borne at the tips of stems or branches. Acrocarpous mosses may branch extensively; once they have fruited, branches take over the erect growth.


Pleurocapous mosses have a prostrate growth habit.
As defined by Encyclopedia.com, Pleurocarpous - A type of moss in which the female sex organs (archegonia) and capsules are borne on short, lateral branches, and not at the tips of branches. Pleurocarpous mosses tend to form spreading carpets rather than erect tufts.
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The moss will persist-acropleuro.jpg  
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for that very informative link. It is so helpful to understand the differences between the two types of mosses. That in itself is a breakthrough for me and a good starting point for further reading. How exciting.

I tried posting this earlier but it was attached in the Autumn thread. I really appreciate your searches and links. Thanks again.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:52 PM   #9
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back40bean,thanks for letting me know you read the stuff.
good luck with your moss growing.
I have been trying to get moss to grow on the decomposing logs out in the back of the garden. Instead it has been growing on the bark of the two live trees back there. They are old and it is very shady but on the west side of the trees which are shaded by building or other trees much of the time.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:32 PM   #10
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Nice video Gloria!

How To Grow Moss | Moss and Stone Gardens was very informative. The part I liked best was on how to control the weeds in a moss bed. Too late now, but if I were to create another mossy area I would sterilized the area first. My only option now would be to cover it with black plastic, watch and wait for the weeds to die.

HEY Wildwatcher Did you catch this thread???? It so reminds me of you and your moss project you took on.
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