Pseudoscleropodium purum, a moss native to central and western Europe, has become naturalized in many other parts of the world through human activities. Although not recognized in New York State before 1996, we have established that it occurs at scattered places from Erie County at the western end of the State to Rensselaer County in the east. Just how widespread it may be in New York and in the Northeast is a question that we invite you to help us answer.
This moss is almost always found in cemeteries in New York in our experience. Moreover, it appears to be restricted to those with regularly mowed lawns, moist clayey or loamy soil, and shade provided by small stands of mature Norway spruce or arbor vitae trees.
Cemeteries are often ignored by field botanists, so it is our suspicion that this plant has been largely overlooked. So far we have found it in 22 cemeteries in New York in Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Cortland, Erie, Rensselaer, and Tioga counties and have searched for it in 78 other cemeteries without success. And, we also visited cemeteries in several adjacent states but have not been successful in finding it.
Join us as our inventory continues. You may add important new information that will allow us to better understand the contemporary distribution of this moss and its potential as an invasive species. We anticipate that it will prove to be widespread in the northeastern United States and adjacent parts of Canada. We welcome your participation, and know that if you do, you will enjoy the experience of discovery.
To assist your search, we provide information on this web site that will help you identify Pseudoscleropodium purum. We also include a Status Report on where it has been found in New York and where we have looked for it unsuccessfully.