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Polytrichum (order Polytrichales) A genus of mosses in which the plants grow in patches resembling miniature forests; the shoots arise from an underground, rhizome-like stem. The leaves have a broad, sheathing basal portion which abruptly narrows into a lanceolate to linear-lanceolate blade with a very wide nerve. The calyptra is characteristically densely hairy and covers the capsule. A cosmopolitan genus, it is found on the ground in woods, moors, heaths, etc., and is calcifuge. See also HAIR MOSS.

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