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Polytrichum commune - Hedw.

Common Name Common haircap, Great golden maidenhair,
Family Polytrichaceae
USDA hardiness 2-10
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Typically grows in bogs, wet heathland and along forest streams.
Range Widely distributed throughout temperate and boreal latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere and also found in Mexico, several Pacific Islands including New Zealand, and also in Australia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Polytrichum commune Common haircap, Great golden maidenhair,

Polytrichum commune Common haircap, Great golden maidenhair,
Kristian Peters - Fabelfroh wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polytrichum commune is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 3. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


P. assimile Hampe P. brachypelma Müll. Hal. P. cataractarum Müll. Hal. P. commune var. commune P. commune var. uliginosum Wallr. P. elatum P. Beauv. P. leonii Papp P. madagassum Hampe P. mildbraedii Broth. P. paludicola Cardot P. purpurascens Brid. P. quadrangulare Gilib. P. radulifolium Müll. Hal. P. remotifolium P. Beauv. P. subformosum var. anomalum Thér


Edible Uses

None Known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Used by some people to make a tea to dissolve kidney and gall bladder stones (borealforest.org).

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

A low to medium density groundcover with a mat forming habit. An Ornamental for shady, damp areas. It is used by some people to make a tea to dissolve kidney and gall bladder stones (borealforest.org). Good for hair, Made into a tea to rinse to strengthen hair. Stems have been woven and used to make baskets (tolweb.org).

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers lightly shaded areas with moist slightly acidic soil, it can also survive in areas of full sunlight provided the soil is moist. Can also grow in areas of poor soil and slow drainage. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. A clumping mat former. Forming a dense prostrate carpet spreading indefinitely [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Spores. During the summer spores are released and carried by the wind.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Common haircap, great golden maidenhair, great goldilocks, common haircap moss, common hair moss

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Not Listed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Polytrichum juniperinumHair-Cap Moss, Juniper polytrichum mossPerennial0.0 0-0  LMSNDM02 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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