Sporophytes are rare in Sphagnum annulatum. Of the more wet-growing species, both S. cuspidatum and S. viride are typically much more green or yellow and have stem leaves with acute apices. Sphagnum jensenii is usually larger and has straight capitulum branches as opposed to the more curved branches of S. annulatum. Sphagnum majus normally has a denser and more rounded capitulum. Field experience in both Alaska and Scandanavia, where both species occur, does not support the view of H. A. Crum (1997) that S. annulatum and S. jensenii are simply ends of a continuum. Both species are usually readily separable in the field and look quite different in mixed populations. In North America at least S. annulatum is also considerably more widespread.
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