Northern firmoss is plant of the year in Latvia

The Latvian Botanic Society (LBB) has chosen the northern firmoss (Huperzia selago) as the plant of the year 2024, according to the information available on the association's website.

This is the third nomination of natural phenomena of 2024, with the bird and mushroom of the year already announced.

The moss can be observed throughout the year as it is evergreen. Dark green tiny leaves are densely arranged on the trunks that fork out at the top. The moss has no flowers or fruit – it breeds with spores. In the middle part of the branches, there are small round yellow spore carriers between the leaves, after which the moss can be distinguished from other plants where the pore carriers are yellow cobs at the ends of the branches.

The northern firmoss is included in the list of specially protected species, as well as in the Red Book of Protected Species in Latvia.

The reason is that the northern firmoss grows very slowly and is unable to recover quickly in the event of devastation.

Interestingly the name of the northern firmoss in Latvian, 'apdzira', suggests a relation with drinking or getting drunk. The botanists say that this has to do with the use of the firmoss in folk medicine to “cure” alcohol addictions. The plant is poisonous and used with alcohol, causes severe vomiting, which would make you think twice in the future whether to resort to the bottle again.

Each observation of the species is valuable, so LBB invites you to report findings on the portal "" or by emailing “[email protected]” (photos should preferably be added).

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