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What is peat moss?

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Quick Answer

Peat moss is a group of non-vascular plants in the scientific genus Sphagnum. Like other mosses, peat moss is made up of very short stems with tiny leaves attached. Peat mosses form peat after they have partially decayed.

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Full Answer

Peat moss tends to grow in large masses that become layered over time. These layers of peat moss are known as peatlands and can provide habitat to other plants and animals. Unlike more familiar plants, peat moss does not absorb water from the ground. Instead, it takes in moisture from the air and stores it in its cells. Peat moss is very efficient at storing water, even when dead and decomposed. Its efficiency has made it useful for humans, as it is used to pot plants and as a component of fertilizers.

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