Peat Moss

By William T. Hathaway

Peat Moss

Botanists usually refer to Peat Moss by its generic name “Sphagnum.” It grows in well-scattered moist woodlands throughout our area. Some relatively extensive colonies may be found in sandy, somewhat sterile, soils of open heath bogs within the lowlands of the White Oak Mountain range.

The pith helmet gives us some idea as to the size of the moss beds.

Of the many uses of peat moss, one story relates how the Canadian Indians would use it in bedding and diapering children. The dried moss could be placed in the children's cradles and changed night and morning. This assured that the infant would be clean, dry and warm. Even today there is some evidence that Sphagnum will prevent or heal diaper rash!

In these days we usually associate peat moss with Florida; it ain't necessarily so!


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