Date: Around 1999
Is there any truth to the fact that moss only grows on the north side?
Not really. If lost in a forest, you will find that the location of moss
does not really aid in finding your way out. Moss can and does grow on
surfaces facing all sides.
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Mosses commonly grow in damp, shaded places such as north sides of trees
and buildings; however, they do grow in diverse habitats.
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.
Because they are simple plants with limited ability to take up water, mosses
usually grow in fairly damp, cool places. In somewhat open areas the north
side of trees (in the northern hemisphere) is usually cooler and damper than
the south where exposure to sun is more likely. In denser, well shaded
forests moss is likely to be on any side of a tree.
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Update: June 2012