Willow Moss Aquarium Plant
aka: common water moss
Native to: North America extending southward to Pennsylvania in the east and Arizona in the west. Also in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In Washington, it is more common west of the Cascade Mountains.
Willow Moss is found attached to rocks or logs in swift flowing water, floating loose or attached to substrate in still water. It is common in shaded sites and prefers slightly acidic water. It requires water below pH 8.4 where dissolved carbon dioxide is available.
This important plant provides habitat for aquatic life such as insects, larvae, and other microorganisms. Small fish species will nest in it and eggs will hatch in it providing refuge for the frye (baby fish). It is a popular plant for cold water aquariums as well.
Willow Moss or Common water moss is a dark green underwater plant that attaches to rocks or logs in flowing water, or floats loose or attached in still water. The leaves are sharply pointed, ridged, overlapping, and arranged in 3 rows along the entire length of the stems. The stems grow up to 60 cm long and appear triangular if the leaves are removed. Common water moss does not produce flowers, reproducing by stolons, plant fragments, or spores instead. It is one of only a few truly aquatic mosses in the Pacific Northwest. It is often found dried and dormant above water in the summer.
It does not have true roots. Rootlets (rhizoids) attach common water moss to rocks and logs naturally. This plant propagates mostly by stolons and leafy plant fragments. Infrequently by spores.
May be confused with: Other moss species, which have leaves that are not ridged or as distinctly 3-rowed as common water moss.
1 portion = 1 teaspoon