Stairstep Moss (Hylocomium splendens) is one of my favorite moss species. The stems produce one to three slightly offset whorls of intricately lacy horizontal branches each year and so in profile the plant looks like a set of stairs.
I found this plant for the first time on my property in 2011 after having seen it for many years in the cool boreal spruce and fir forests of northern Minnesota. It’s just a small patch growing in a moist seep with sphagnum moss under some black spruce. But for me it was an exciting find.
Today, with the snow falling and already up to four inches I am really looking forward to seeing this moss again in the spring.