Vesicularia ferriei "Weeping Moss"

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Epiphyte (growing on hardscape), Nano tanks
Difficulty: easy
Growth: slow
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Habit, plant type:

  • epiphyte or epilith
  • moss / liverwort or fern prothallium
Botanical name [?]: Vesiculária ferriei (Cardot & Thér.) Broth.

Major group (unranked): Mosses (Bryophyta)
Order: Hypnales
Family: Hypnaceae
Genus: Vesicularia


"Weeping Moss" is said to have been imported from China. It was identified as Vesicularia ferrei by Prof. B.C. Tan (Singapore). This species is also distributed in the south of Japan. In nature it has a creeping habit and grows on wet rocks covered with sandy soil, on moist riverbanks and on wet soil on rivulets. (1).

The submersed form of this moss can be identified on its clearly overhanging frondshaped shoots (see photos) that remind of a weeping willow.
The leaves and the relatively broad leaf cells look rather ike those of V. montagnei ("Christmas moss"), however, the leaves do not end in an acuminate tip but are more acute and relatively obtuse. V. montagnei as well as other Vesicularia species may also develop overhanging shoots, but not as bent as those of V. ferriei, whose shoots are clearly bent downward. Under very low light its growth habit may be more horizontally, though.

Vesicularia ferriei first became popular with hobbyists and aquascapers in Asia, but as it is relatively undemanding regarding lighting and fertilisation, and thanks to its beautiful looks it has also spread to European aquaria very soon. Unfortunately, true weeping moss is hard to come by, as there are many other mosses that are also sold under that name, which do not even have the typical weeping growth habit.

To be continued...

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