Herbs & Plants

Philonotis fontana

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Botanical Name :Philonotis fontana
Family :Bartramiaceae
Genus :Philonotis Brid.
Species:Philonotis fontana (Hedw.) Brid.
Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Bryophyta
Subdivision : Musci
Class :Bryopsida
Subclass: Bryidae

Common Name :Aquatic  Apple Mosses

Habitat :Grows  Much of North America south to northern Mexico.On soil or rock along the banks of ditches, brooks, or in springy areas, often in the open.

Philonotis fontana is a common moss of wet areas. It has an acute tip and a serrate edge, but the most distinguishing characteristic of this moss is a round papilla on the stem end of the leaf cells when viewed with a microscope. The capsules are also a useful identifying character. They are short and globose.
Please click on an image for a large.


Stems reddish, 3-10 cm tall, forming dense tufts. Leaves bright green or yellowing, erect to erect-spreading or falcate secund, 1-2 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, usually abruptly acuminate from a more or less broad base; margins doubly serrate, revolute on the lower half or more; upper leaf cells prorulose on both ends; costa short to long excurrent. Dioicous; perigonia discoid. Setae 2-3 cm long; capsules 2-3 mm long, spherical when moist, slender when dry. Spores 24-30 ?m.

Medicinal Uses:
Used by Gasuite Indians of Utah to alleviate pain of burns; crushed into paste and applied as poultice; covering for bruises and wounds or as padding under splints in setting broken bones.  Indians in the Himalayas use burned ash of mosses mixed with fat and honey and prepared in ointment for cuts, burns, and wounds.  This mixture provides both healing and soothing.


The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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