Sporophytes are common in Sphagnum fuscum, which is associated with S. angustifolium, S. fallax, S. magellanicum, S. papillosum, and more infrequently with S. teres, and S. warnstorfii in richer sites. Very widespread but generally easily recognized, it is the only small brown hummock-forming species of sect. Acutifolia over most of its range. There are some significant variations in this species. The stem leaves can vary from having a rounded, entire apex to having a somewhat flat and lacerate apex. The branches also vary from being unranked and slender to 5-ranked and blunt. The color also can vary from a light to a dark brown. There does not seem, however, to be any consistent pattern to these variations and thus no taxonomic recognition has been given to them. See also discussion under 73. S. flavicomans.
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