Botanists have had the moss pulled over their eyes for more than a century when it comes to explosive spore discharge in a thick, soft plant that thrives in soggy places. Sphagnum’s spores don’t eject from their capsule because of the dramatic buildup of several atmospheres of pressure, but instead eject when the capsule cell walls dry and buckle, researchers report online and in an upcoming New Phytologist.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.