83. Sphagnum subfulvum Sjörs, Svensk Bot. Tidskr. 38: 404. 1944.
Sphagnum nitidum Warnstorf, Allg. Bot. Z. Syst. 1: 94. 1895
Plants moderate-sized to robust, usually soft and lax, sometimes moderately stiff, capitulum typically enlarged and flat-topped, ± stellate; green to golden brown, unshaded plants often reddish purple, plants with metallic sheen when dry. Stems yellowish to dark brown; superficial cortical cells aporose. Stem leaves triangular-lingulate to broadly lingulate, 0.9-1.3 mm, apex broadly rounded to obtusely angled, border very strong and broad at base (more than 0.4 width); hyaline cells rhombic, efibrillose, most 0-1-septate. Branches long, tapering, imbricate, not 5-ranked. Branch fascicles with 2 spreading and 1-2 pendent branches. Branch leaves ovate, 2-2.5 mm, concave, straight, apex involute; hyaline cells on convex surface with elliptic pores along the commissures grading from moderate-sized pores near leaf apex to large pores at the base, concave surface with large round pores in proximal portions of leaf. Sexual condition monoicous. Spores 23-31 µm, irregularly coarsely papillose on both surfaces; proximal laesura less than or equal to 0.5 spore radius
Capsules mature early summer. Minerotrophic and hygrophytic, forming hummocks in shrubby and wooded medium and rich fens; low to moderate elevations; Greenland; B.C., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), Ont., Que., Yukon; Alaska, Maine, Mich., Minn., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Vt.; Eurasia.
Sporophytes of Sphagnum subfulvum are common. This species is associated with S. centrale, S. contortum, S. teres, and S. warnstorfii. Although it is normally more minerotrophic, S. subfulvum does occasionally (in Newfoundland) occur in the same mires as S. flavicomans. The latter lacks the metallic sheen of S. subfulvum and its stem leaves are not as narrow and acute. In some forms S. subfulvum may develop a purplish gloss that may lead to confusion with S. subnitens but the color of that species has a definite red component and its stem leaves are narrower and more sharply pointed than those of S. subfulvum.