8. Sphagnum cuspidatum Ehrh. ex Hofin., Deutschl. Fl., ed. 2. 22. 1796.
Plants slender, soft, yellowish green to brown, somewhat shiny when dry. Stem cortex in 2–3 layers, hyaline cells large, thin-walled, without fibrils; central cylinder deeply yellowish green, clearly distinguished from the cortical cells. Stem leaves 1.2–2.0 mm × 0.5–0.8 mm, oblong-triangular to isosceles-triangular, gradually acute and slightly dentate at the apex, borders narrow above, clearly widened from the middle to the base (ca. 1/3 leaf base); hyaline cells narrow, undivided, often with fibrils, sometimes with small end pores on the dorsal surface. Branches in fascicles of 4, with 2 spreading. Branch leaves 2.0–4.0 mm × 0.5–0.6 mm, slightly shiny, often undulate at margins and secund when dry, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, gradually narrowed to a blunt, dentate apex; margins bordered by a few rows of linear cells; central hyaline cells narrowly elongate-rhomboidal, with small, ringed pores at the upper corners, rarely with pores at the lower corners on the dorsal surface, mostly with numerous small pores, rarely with rather large pores at the corners on the ventral surface, the inner walls adjacent to green cells smooth; the green cells in cross section trapezoidal, more broadly exposed on the dorsal surface. Dioicous; antheridial branches reddish brown; perigonial leaves shorter and wider than vegetative branch leaves. Perichaetial leaves broadly ovate with rounded apex, margins entire. Spores yellowish brown.
Chinese specimens examined: FUJIAN: Fuzhou City, X.-X. Zhong 154-114 (KUN). HEILONGJIANG: Da Xing An Ling (Greater Khingan Mt.), C. Gao 106 (IFSBH, KUN, MO), 13016 (IFSBH, KUN); Xiao Xing An Ling (Lesser Khingan Mt.), S.-E. Liu 1413 (IFSBH, KUN). NEI MONGOL: Genhe Co., C. Gao 806(a) (IFSBH, KUN, MO). YUNNAN: Gong-shan Co., M. Zang 564 (KUN), 639 (KUN, MO).
Habitat: on wet humus under forests and bases of trees forming a hummock-hollow complex adjacent to bog mats; Distribution: China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Australia, Europe, North, Central, and South America, and Africa.
This species is characterized among closely related species by its narrowly elongate branch leaves that are 4–6 times longer than wide.
Illustrations: C. Gao (ed.) 1994 (Pl. 4, figs. 11–13).