Plants to 1.5 cm high, in hoary green to gray-green cushions, opaque-green to nearly black below. Leaves loosely imbricate when dry, loosely erect-spreading when moist, somewhat concave but not at all keeled, to 3 mm long with the awn constituting nearly 1/2 of that length, ovate-lanceolate from a loosely sheathing somewhat expanded base, 2.5–3.5: 1. Median leaf cells in regular longitudinal rows, unistratose in the expanded base but uniformly bistratose in the limb, smooth, to 7 µm wide, isodiametric with lumens irregular but without corner thickenings. Marginal cells not differentiated. Basal juxtacostal cells elliptical, to 3: 1, to 15 µm wide, with irregularly thickened lateral walls. Basal marginal cells transversely elongate, 0.5–0.7: 1, to 15 µm wide. Costa flared at the base and filling 1/3–1/4 of immediate leaf base, narrowed and obscure above, percurrent in the somewhat acuminate awn. Costa cross-section at leaf middle broad and flattened, less than 1.5 times as thick as the adjacent leaf, with a weak abaxial band of stereids or substereids and with a single layer of larger cells on the adaxial face. Margin of leaf limb plane to incurved, entire below. Awn strongly decurrent with its margin somewht serrulate, and with its surface spinose-prorate. Axillary hairs to 100 µmµmlong, with 6–8 nearly isodiametric and thick- walled cells, without a basal brown cell. Rhizoids red brown, to 15 µm wide at base, smooth. Stem cross-section rounded-triangular with a large and well-defined central strand, and with leptodermous, hyaline and large inner cortical cells, and with the 1–2 cell-thick outer stereome composed of much smaller, thick-walled cells strongly pigment with yellow to yellow-brown.
Dioicous with male and female plants similar. Perichaetial leaves loosely sheathing base of seta, somewhat larger and with a relatively longer, less decurrent awn than the adjacent vegetative leaves. Seta to 2.5 mm long, yellow to pale brown, straight and smooth. Urn erect, symmetrical, smooth to lightly wrinkled when dry, to 1.2 mm long, 1.5–2: 1, not strumose. Operculum short rostrate, about 1/3 as long as urn. Annulus formed of 2–3 rows of relatively more thin-walled cells. Calyptra mitrate, covering about 1/2 of urn. Peristome red-brown, to 200 µm. long, cribrose along median line near the apex, papillose to vertically striate-papillose. Exothecial cells to 25 µm. wide, not in regular vertical rows, quite irregular in size and shape, rectangular 2–4: 1, rather thick walled. Stomata phaneroporous, restricted to base of urn. Spores smooth, to 12 µm.
|Literature||Bourell 1981; Bradshaw 1926; Cooke 1941; Crum and Anderson 1981; Flowers 1973; Harpel 1980a; Harthill et al. 1979; Holmberg 1969; Kellman 2003; Koch 1949a, 1950a, 1951e; Koch and Ikenberry 1954; Lawton 1971; Lesquereux 1868; Lesquereux and James 1884; Long 1978; McCleary 1972; Mishler 1978; Shevock and Toren 2001; Spjut 1971; Steere 1954; Steere et al. 1954; Toren 1977; Watson 1880; Yurky 1990, 1995. |
|Illustrations||Malcolm et al. 2009 p. 67; Crum and Anderson 1981; Flowers 1973; Greven 2003; Ignatov and Ignatova 2003; Lawton 1971; Muñoz 1999a; Sharp et al. 1994; Smith 1978.|
|Bioregions||CaR, CW, DMoj, NW, SN, SW.|
|Vouchers||Fresno Co.: Kings River Trail, Sierra National Forest, Shevock & York 12368; Lake Co.: Clear Lake State Park, Toren 6840 (CAS); Mendocino Co.: Indian Creek County Park near Philo, Norris 53235; Riverside Co.: south of Twentynine Palms at county line, Norris 57964; San Francisco Co.: Yerba Buena Island, San Francisco, Shevock 19113; Santa Barbara Co.: Miranda Pine Mountain, Los Padres National Forest, Norris 55314; Siskiyou Co.: Idlewild Campground about 10 miles east of Sawyers Bar on road to Etna, Klamath National Forest, Norris 11838; Tuolumne Co.: Forest Road 17 near Cherry Creek Bridge, Stanislaus National Forest, Shevock & Ertter 19551 (determined by Muñoz).|