Sharpiella turfacea (Lindberg) Z. Iwatsuki
Plants in thin mats, light- to yellowish-green, glossy. Stems to 30 × 1.5--2.5 mm, prostrate, pseudoparaphyllia lacking. Leaves squarrose-spreading, sometimes erect-spreading, usually appearing distichous and complanate due to twisting of leaves to form two rows on opposite sides of stems and branches, sometimes tips secund at stem and branch apices, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, smooth or weakly plicate, nondecurrent or sometimes 1--3 short cells indistinctly decurrent, 1--2 × 0.3-0.7 mm; margins serrulate to serrate; cell walls pitted at leaf base, indistinctly pitted distally, sometimes pits lacking; median cells 43--80 × 3--6 μm; alar cells quadrate to short-rectangular on margin, sometimes one cell at extreme basal angle rounded to oval and inflated, 14--34 × 9--22 μm. Sexual condition autoicous. Seta light brown to red, 1.2--2 cm. Capsule light brown, inclined, 0.8--2 × 0.3--0.6 mm, oblong to cylindric, slightly arcuate, when dry contracted below mouth; operculum conic to conic apiculate, 0.3--0.4 mm. Spores 10--15 μm.
Capsules mature summer. Coniferous woods, sometimes in swamps, humus, bases of trees, rotten logs and stumps, rarely on rock; 30--500 m; Alta., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Conn., Ill., Ind., Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Vt., Va., Wis.; Europe; Asia.
Herzogiella turfacea is characterized by the often distant, erect- to wide-spreading leaves, sometimes plicate, appearing distichous due to their twisting to opposite sides of the stems and branches, the poorly differentiated alar cells, and the striate capsules. The species is common in northeastern North America between 40--50º N but rare farther south in North and South Carolina and Virginia. It is known from only a few scattered localities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Illinois, Ohio, Montana, and South Dakota.