The sphagnum mosses, or peat mosses, are unique not only morphologically but also ecologically. With their abundant clear cells they can retain up to 25 times their dry weight in water, and a uniquely strong acidifying power permits sphagnum to direct succession wherever conditions are suitable for them to flourish. Much of the earth’s surface with a cool humid climate is dominated, thus, by sphagnum peatlands.
Genus 1, species ca. 285 (89 species in the flora).