Plant in small tufts or cushions mostly interspersed with other bryophytes, to 4 cm high, dark green to grass-green above, occasionally red-brown below due to dense rhizoids. Stems red to almost black, closely foliate, with leaves appressed to stem when dry, erect-spreading when moist, neither secund nor crispate. Margin recurved at mid-leaf but plane below and near the apex, entire throughout, not at all decurrent. Leaves to 4 mm long, ligulate, 5–7: 1, with the apex obtuse to broadly rounded and with the base somewhat broader than the limb. Median cells of lamina moderately thick-walled with rectangular lumens, to 12 µm broad, rather variable in length, mostly 1.5–4: 1. Marginal cells of subula similar to, or somewhat shorter than adjacent median cells. Cells across the leaf base somewhat more narrow than median cells but otherwise similar. Cells of alar region mostly isodiametric to transversely elongate, to 16 µm wide. Macronematal initials to 100 µm broad and 150 µm long, median axillary in insertion. Costa filling 1/2 to 2/3 of the leaf base, gradually tapering to the subpercurrent to percurrent apex. Lamina unistratose throughout Costa cross section nearly uniform or with a single very poorly differentiated layer of guide cells, between substereid bands. Stem cross section rounded pentagonal, with the outer 1–3 layers of cells abruptly smaller, red-brown and somewhat pachydermous, and with the central strand well-defined. Rhizoids restricted to the axillary macronematal apparati, red-brown, densely papillose, extensively but irregularly branched, to 45 µm wide at base. Axillary hairs to 200 µm long with 4–5 short basal brown cells and a single very thick walled cylindrical terminal cell.
Autoicous but with perigonia and perichaetia usually placed on apparently separate long branches. Perichaetia terminal but with perichaetial bracts similar to vegetative leaves. Seta to 80 mm long, straight and smooth, brown to yellow brown. Urn arcuate and asymmetric, to 4 mm long, oblong to short cylindric, brown to yellow brown, wrinkled when dry but not regularly sulcate. Operculum short conic. Neck of dry capsule moderately well-defined, strongly wrinkled when dry, comprising up to 1/2 of capsule length. Suboral exothecial cells transversely elongate in 2–5 rows, 0.5–0.8: 1, to 20 µm broad. Median exothecial cells to 25 µm broad, short rectangular, only moderately thick-walled, 1–2: 1. Stomata not seen. Annulus poorly defined. Exostome inconspicuous, inserted far below mouth of capsule and hardly protruding from mouth, to 100 µm long, brownish to hyaline with prominent ventral trabeculae. Endostome keeled and smooth or nearly so with basal membrane inconspicuous, and without cilia. Spores spherical, finely papillose, to 50 µm.
|Literature||Crum and Anderson 1981; Howe 1896; Koch 1950a; Lawton 1971; Lesquereux 1868; Watson 1880.|
|Illustrations||Malcolm et al. 2009 p. 164; Abramov and Volkova 1998; Crum and Anderson 1981; Ignatov and Ignatova 2003; Ireland 1982; Lawton 1971; Ochyra 1998a; Smith 1978.|
|Bioregions||CaR, SN, SW.|
|Vouchers||Fresno Co.: between Wet Meadow and Spanish Lake, John Muir Wilderness, Sierra National Forest, Shevock 14153; Sierra Co.: Secret Meadow east of Independence Lake, Tahoe National Forest, Norris 99466; Riverside Co.: Wellmans Cienega, east side of Marion Mountain, San Jacinto State Park, Wheeler 7901 (CAS, DUKE, UC) [determined by Shaw]; Siskiyou Co.: Sisson near Mt. Shasta, Howe 117 (UC); Tulare Co.: South Mountaineer Creek at Summit Trail, Golden Trout Wilderness, Sequoia National Forest, Shevock 14245; Unspecified county: Bolander 90 (UC).|