- any soft moss of the genus Sphagnum, occurring chiefly in bogs, used for potting and packing plants, for dressing wounds, etc.
Origin of sphagnum
1745–55; < New Latin, alteration of Greek sphágnos a moss
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sphagnum
The Sphagnum moss will be seen at the base of the upright plant.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
As she said nothing, he looked down at the foot-print in the sphagnum.The Flaming Jewel
Robert W. Chambers
They are round and soft and mossy as hillocks of sphagnum in a green marsh.Glimpses of Three Coasts
Helen Hunt Jackson
The "Hill Peat" is made up of Sphagnum and other mosses and of ferns and heather.Notes on the Fenland
T. McKenny Huges
Then comes the chance of that wonderful moss the peat-moss, or Sphagnum.The Romance of Plant Life
G. F. Scott Elliot
- any moss of the genus Sphagnum, of temperate bogs, having leaves capable of holding much water: layers of these mosses decay to form peatAlso called: peat moss, bog moss
C18: from New Latin, from Greek sphagnos a variety of moss
Word Origin and History for sphagnum
genus of mosses, 1741, Modern Latin, from Latin sphagnos, a kind of lichen, from Greek sphagnos "a spiny shrub, a kind of moss," of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- See peat moss.
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