/maws, mos/, n.Howard, born 1922, U.S. poet, editor, and playwright.
* * *IAny of at least 12,000 species of small, spore-bearing land plants in the bryophyte division, found worldwide except in salt water.Mosses are simple and ancient plants that have survived nearly unchanged since the Permian Period (290–248 million years ago). Commonly found in moist, shady locations (e.g., forest floors), mosses may range in size from microscopic to more than 40 in. (1 m) long. They prevent erosion and release nutrients from the substrates on which they grow. The life cycle shows clear alternation of generations between the sexual gametophyte, with stemlike and leaflike structures that produce eggs and swimming sperm, and the sporophyte, a raised stalk that ends in a spore case (sporangium). Mosses also reproduce asexually by branching. The economically important genus Sphagnum forms peat. Many so-called mosses are not bryophytes, including Irish moss (a red form of algae); beard moss, Iceland moss, oak moss, and reindeer moss (all lichens); Spanish moss (a name used variously for a lichen or an air plant of the pineapple family); and club moss (an evergreen herb of the family Lycopodiaceae).II(as used in expressions)Hart MossMoss Stirlingsphagnum moss
* * *▪ Norwaytown and port, southeastern Norway, on the eastern shore of Oslo Fjord. Moss was founded in the 16th century. On Aug. 14, 1814, it was the site of the signing of the Convention of Moss, which ended the short war between Norway and Sweden that preceded their union. The town has paper and cotton mills, metalworks, shipyards, textile factories, breweries, and facilities for glass, asphalt, and tar production. The harbour is protected by adjacent Jel Island, called the “Pearl of Oslo Fjord” for its fine resort area and many large estates. The Moss River drains into Vann Lake and then flows through the town and into Oslo Fjord. Pop. (2007 est.) mun., 28,633.
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