The genus name based on a wrong observation that the operculum splits. Species name describing the feather-like appearance of the vegetative leafy plant.
Sometimes called luminous moss or fairy gold, based on the protonema that glows yellow-green from reflected light.
The very tiny plants with leaves clearly in two rows and laterally fused at the base, the seemingly leafless lower portion of the shoots, the tiny sub spherical sporangia that lack peristome teeth, added to the very shaded habitat and the "luminous" protonema, when present, are distinctive features.
Short turfs, loosely affixed to substratum; the protonema glows with reflected light, producing a light yellow-green sheen on the substratum.
Small species of Pissidens can resemble S. pennata but the leaves of Pissiden show a clear sheathing flap and a midrib, and bright red peristome teeth are characteristic in the elongate sporangium.
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