In early spring botanists get itchy feet and head out to find the first blooms of the season. Unfortunately, they are initially met with standard fare such as Erigenia bulbosa, Lamium amplexicaule or Houstonia minima. If you find yourself in this situation and since you are peering intently at the ground anyway, you may as well keep a humble eye out for a bryophyte or two; no doubt you will see many.
Here are two of the more easily identified mosses you could encounter. Though not a purely unique character, both species have rather spherical capsules. The first is Physcomitrium pyriforme.
In my experience, this moss is usually found in rather disturbed or recently burned areas with full sun and is readily identified by the tongue-like leaves with apiculate tips and the pear-shaped (broadly obovate) capsules; a character from which the species epithet is derived (Pyrus being the genus of pears). The second species is Bartramia pomiforme.
This is a species of higher floristic quality. It is an acidophile and is pretty much restricted to wet sandstone ledges, bluffs and terraces in shaded forests; the kind of places you expect to see an abundance of mosses. With its narrow pointed leaves, yellow-green coloration and soft texture there are few mosses with which to confuse it. The nearly perfect spheres that are the capsules pretty much seal the deal. Though I don't like to perpetuate the use of common names, this one is apt. It is called Apple Moss which jives well with the specific epithet (a pome being the fruit type of the apple). At maturity the capsules turn reddish-brown and then look so much like apples that Eve herself would not be able to resist them.
And if you have no taste for mosses, fruity or otherwise, it won't be long before the woods are once again heavy with tracheophyte greenery and the floral distractions there unto.