Species name probably denoting the resemblance of the plants to juniper seedlings.
Sporophytes frequent, the seta wine-red and glossy and the sporangium dull red-brown when mature in summer; erect when young, inclined when ripe
The most useful features are the red, gradually tapering hair points of the leaves and the incurved, clear leaf blade that overlaps the lamellae on the upper surface of the leaves; this gives the leaves a powdery, bluish-green colour.
Forming short to tall turfs 10-'-100 mm tall, of dusty blue-green unbranched shoots with leaves strongly divergent when dry and with reddish points.
P. piliferum resembles P. juniperium in many respects. In P. piliferum, the white hair points are usually much longer (about 1/8 the length of the leaf) and taper abruptly from the body of the leaf; those of P. juniperinum are red, usually less than 1/8 of the leaf length and taper gradually from the body of the leaf. P. strictum is a miniature version of P. juniperinum, differing from it in its abundant felting of rhizoids along much of the stem length, its leaves that are generally half the size of those of P. juniperinum and in its usually boggy habitat.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Polytrichum apiculatum Kindb.
Polytrichum juniperinum var. arcticum Kuc
Polytrichum juniperinum var. waghornei Kindb.
Polytrichum piliferum var. hyperboreum (R. Br.) Müll. Hal.