Word of the Week: sphagnum (SFĂG-nəm)


(Noun) A genus of mosses growing in boggy or swampy places; bog-moss, peat moss; also, one or other of the species or plants composing this genus.

In Context

“In 1914 sphagnum dressings were given a thorough try-out at one of the large war hospitals in Scotland, and the results proved so satisfactory that sphagnum was at once recommend for general use.”

George E. Nichols, “Sphagnum Moss: War Substitute for Cotton in Absorbent Surgical Dressings,” Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution [1918], 1920.

This word was suggested by Dan Day in the Office of Communications.