Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

Common Mosses, Liverworts, and Lichens of Ohio
A Visual Guide

By Robert Klips

“Dr. Klips has an uncanny talent for observation and an exceptional skill for distilling obscure characters into clear and memorable descriptions. Many of Klips’s species descriptions contain wonderful humor and wordplay, but they are clearly written from a place of deep knowledge and extensive experience with these organisms.”

Eric J. Tepe, assistant professor and curator of the Margaret H. Fulford Herbarium at the University of Cincinnati

“Klips mastered an easy-to-understand guidebook, its clear and refreshing description encouraging the identification of common Ohio species with mainly the naked eye and a hand lens. The environment and the morphological characters of species are well illustrated and brought to life with drawings and photographs.”

Michaela Schmull, director of collections, Harvard University Herbaria & Libraries

“This book is a valuable addition to the library of every Ohio naturalist and is also very appropriate for those in surrounding states. The study of these usually neglected organisms necessarily requires some technical jargon but Klips’s easy-to-read and frequently humorous writing style makes the process painless. While the book does not contain all the Ohio species of bryophytes and lichens, it covers the commonly seen ones with succinct descriptions and many facts not found in more technical manuals. The identification keys are easy to use and each species is represented by exceptional photographs, both on the macro and micro scale. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in nature and wanting to know more about the fascinating world of mosses and lichens.”

Ray E. Showman, coauthor of The Macrolichens of Ohio

Common Mosses, Liverworts, and Lichens of Ohio is an instructional, informative, and cleverly written book. It has two chapters on how to use the book, along with photographs, illustrations, and identification keys. This book will appeal to all levels of investigators interested in the abundant cryptic dwellers of soil, rocks, and trees.”

Barbara K. Andreas, professor emerita, Kent State University

This engaging illustrated guidebook reveals the fascinating mosses and lichens that homeowners, outdoorspeople, and nature lovers encounter every day in Ohio and the Midwest.

In this guide to the most common and distinctive moss, liverwort, and lichen species in Ohio, readers will find concise physical descriptions, facts about natural history and ecology, and tips to distinguish look-alike species, all presented in a friendly, conversational tone.

Featuring detailed photographs of the plant and plantlike species in their natural settings, the book covers 106 mosses, thirty liverworts, and one hundred lichens and offers several avenues to match a specimen to its description page. “Where They Grow” chapters spotlight species commonly encountered on field outings, and field keys to help readers quickly identify unfamiliar samples.

While designed primarily as an identification tool, this guide also frames moss and lichen spotting in a scientific context. The two main sections—bryophytes and lichens—detail their respective taxonomic kingdoms, explain their life cycles and means of reproduction, and illustrate variation in the traits used for identification. The book is an introduction to the biology of these intriguing but too-often-overlooked organisms and a means to enjoy, identify, and catalog the biodiversity all around us.

Robert Klips is an associate professor emeritus in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University (OSU), where he taught for over twenty years. He currently manages the bryophyte and lichen specimen collections in the herbarium at OSU’s Museum of Biological Diversity. Skilled in botanical macrophotography, Klips served as the photographer for the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s 2017 Common Lichens of Ohio Field Guide and contributed images to dozens of books, periodicals, and websites. He frequently conducts field work and educates nature study groups about the identification, ecology, and distribution of Ohio plants and lichens.   More info →


Klips Clip: video by Robert Klips on a common moss that resembles a pincushion
Klips Clip: video on broom moss by Robert Klips

Order a print copy

Paperback · $31.96 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $39.95 · Save 20% ($31.96)

Buy from a local bookstore


US and Canada only

Buy an eBook

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of Common Mosses, Liverworts, and Lichens of Ohio

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon


Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center


Retail price: $39.95, T.
Release date: August 2022
936 illus. · 392 pages · 7 × 10 in.
Rights:  World

Release date: August 2022
936 illus. · 392 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for Common Mosses, Liverworts, and Lichens of Ohio

“[The book] will have a very special appeal to personal, professional readers interested in the subject of mosses, liverworts, and lichens—making it a highly recommended and worthwhile addition to community, college, and university library … collections.”

Midwest Book Review

Related Titles

Cover of 'Appalachian Mushrooms'

Appalachian Mushrooms
A Field Guide
By Walter E. Sturgeon

From one of the region’s foremost mushroom hunters, Walter E. Sturgeon, comes a long-overdue field guide to finding and identifying the mushrooms found in the Appalachian mountains. This guide is destined to be an indispensable authority on the subject for everyone from beginning hobbyists to trained experts, throughout Appalachia and beyond.

Mushrooms · Plant Guide · Appalachia · Ohio and Regional · Guidebook · West Virginia

Cover of 'Mammals of Ohio'

Mammals of Ohio
By John D. Harder and Guy N. Cameron

A comprehensive and informative review of mammalian biology and conservation in Ohio with illustrative accounts of fifty-five species, including updated research and high-quality photographs, maps, and original drawings.

Nature | Animals | Mammals · Nature | Regional · Ohio · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Under Ohio'

Under Ohio
The Story of Ohio’s Rocks and Fossils
By Charles Ferguson Barker

A geologist takes young readers underground to reveal the fascinating story of Ohio’s geology.

Earth Sciences (Juvenile Nonfiction) · Ohio · Young Readers · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Follow the Blue Blazes'

Follow the Blue Blazes
A Guide to Hiking Ohio’s Buckeye Trail
By Connie Pond and Robert J. Pond
· Foreword by Steven M. Newman

From the startling rock formations and graceful waterfalls of Old Man’s Cave, to Native American mounds, battlefields, and scenic rivers, Connie and Robert J. Pond provide a captivating guide to often-overlooked treasures around the state.

Travel - Midwest · Ohio and Regional · Guidebook · Midwest · Ohio