These pictures and diagrams, from a Northern Forest Atlas guide Sue Williams and I are working on, show the method. Sphagnum capillifolium is the most
common; it’s a small, round-headed species that forms hummocks above the water table. Confirmation is based on the elongate stem leaves and at least
traces of red color on the leaves or stems. Confusion is possible: there are variants which are all green, have shorter stem leaves, or have five-parted heads.
We admire these but don’t name them. We have friends that name them but don’t admire them. It is a big world.
Photos and drawings by Jerry Jenkins, June-July 2000. For images of most of the northern forest sphagnums, habitat diagrams, and an article on coastal
sphagnums, visit www.northernforestatlas.org
Northern Woodlands / Autumn 2017 23
cuspidatum papillosum magellanicum
OPEN WET BOG
fuscum capillifolium fimbriatum rubellum
White beakrush Carexexilis Carexlimosa