Golden Ragged Moss
"Smooth-stalked Yellow Feather Moss"
General - medium-sized to large moss in loose, green to yellow-green mats; stems upright or creeping along ground, irregularly branched.
Leaves - loosely erect or erect-spreading, sometimes curved and pointed in 1 direction, somewhat to strongly pleated, 2 - 3 mm long, lance-shaped to slightly broader, gradually pointed.
Sporophytes - single; stalk yellow or red, smooth, 1 - 3 cm long; capsule 2 - 3 mm long, oblong-cylindrical, asymmetrical, inclined or horizontal, usually blackish.
Shady ground at tree bases; crawling over longs or humus; usually in rather dry or somewhat disturbed habitats; common and widespread across Northwestern Ontario's boreal forest; circumpolar.
Gold ragged moss could be confused with sickle moss, which also sometimes grows on the bases of tree trunks and has leaves that curve in one direction. However, the leaves of sickle moss are longer and much more strongly curled to one side. The species name salebrosum comes from the Latin, salebra, 'roughness', perhaps in reference to the roughened appearance of the pleated leaves.
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