Trichostomum glaucescens Hedwig
Stems short or reaching 1.5 cm. Leaves 1--2.5(--3.5) mm, proximal leaves small, the distal and perichaetial leaves gradually acuminate, ± subulate from a lanceolate base; costa 1/5--1/3 width of leaf base, with a single row of guide cells, and both adaxial and abaxial stereid bands, or adaxial stereid band sometimes weak or rarely absent; lamina cells often irregularly 2-stratose towards the apex and occasionally elsewhere. Seta to 15 mm. Capsule with operculum to 1 mm. Spores 15--20(--22) µm, greenish to yellow-brown.
Capsules mature early summer--late fall. Soil on steep banks, particularly those protected by overhangs, frequent on roadsides, soil in sheltered rock crevices; Greenland; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., N.S., Ont., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Colo., Iowa, Mich., Minn., Nebr., N.J., N.Y.; n Eurasia; e Asia; s Africa; Pacific Islands (Hawaii, New Zealand).
The whitish to bluish coloration of the leaves is characteristic. Often thought to have been fungal or cyanobacterial in origin, the granular or thread-like surface material responsible for the glaucous coloration is a diterpene, (-)-16α-hydroxykaurane.