How can I Identify Star Moss? (Identification Guide)

How to identify Star Moss? Star Moss or Tortula Ruralis is a plant that belongs to the family of Pottiaceae and the Class of Bryosida.

This Star Moss has different other common names such as the Side Walk Moss, Hairy Screw Moss, Tortula Moss or the Twisted Moss.

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How can I Identify Star Moss
How can I Identify Star Moss : Image Source 1Image Source 2

This Plant is Native to the Europe, Asia, North America, Middle East, Pacific, South Africa, North Africa and Australia.

As a ground plant this plant is seen grown in the Grasslands, Forests, Deserts and the Arctic.

Even though this plant is seen grown in the grounds with its beautiful appearance this plant is mostly used by Aquarists as a decorative tool.

The Star Moss can grow itself in many Climates and the easiest way to identify this plant is through its Starry looking leaves.

What does the Star Moss look like?

The Star Moss by its name itself indicates that it has a Starry look .This Starry look is mainly seen in its leaves. This plant grows up to a length of 1.1 inches.

And the amazing thing of this plant is that the leaves of this plant has a dark greenly look when its provided with the required amount of water and will change itself to a red browny colour when the plant is dry.

However this plant will survive itself in this situation even for years until it receives water and will change its colour back in green.

How long does the Star Moss live?

The Star Moss has a very low growth rate but will grow larger in size. However this plant will survive itself alive for a longer period of time.

This plant is able to survive itself in any type of climate .Even though it is wet or dry.

PH level of the Star Moss

The PH level of a Star Moss varies from a range of 5 to 7.5.

Can Star Moss survive in the Salt water?

Even though not being an Aquatic plant the Star Moss can survive itself in the fresh waters for a certain period of time. But Salt Water is not good on this plant. Holding this plant in the salt water will makes its death quicker.

Can Star Moss survive in the Under Water?

The Star Moss is a ground plant mainly seen grown in the Grasslands, Forests ,Deserts and the Arctic .Therefore we can see that this plant is not an Aquatic plant by its origin. But with its beauty the plant is used as a decoration to the Aquarium.

Unlike other Aquatic plants the Star Moss held in the Aquarium fully submerged or partially submerged will only have a life time of around 90 days.

Star Moss in the underwater has a very short life.

What is the growth speed of the Star Moss?

The Star Moss is a plant that is around 1.1 inches long when fully grown. This Moss can grow larger in size but its growth rate is very slow. Compared to the other plants the Star Moss takes years to grow in full.


Using the Star Moss plant in to your Aquarium not only adds a decoration to your Aquarium but also provides your Aquarium with other benefits such as providing the required oxygen to the Aquarium, protection and coverage to the Small Creatures as well as stabilizing the Soil.

Compared to the other types of Aquatic plants used in the decoration of an Aquarium the Star Moss requires a minimum amount of maintenance and is very easy to take care of.

So try adding one of these to your Aquarium and enjoy the beauty of this plant at your residence place itself.

By Uswatta Liyanage

Hello. I'm Uswatta Liyanage from Galle, Sri Lanka. I am the founder of this website. Since my childhood I'm an aqua plant lover and I have professionally learned more about aqua plants. So I created this site for share my knowledge and experience with all of you. Now you can refer my site and feel free to contact me if any inquiry.