Name from Greek and applied originally to a foliose lichen. Species name referring to the brilliant opalescent red-purple sporangium.
This is a strikingly beautiful moss for which few collections are known in the province.
The opalescent red-purple, umbrella-like sporangia are diagnostic.
Short, shiny, light to dark green turfs usually not obvious without sporophytes attached.
S. luteum is of similar form but with pale yellow sporangia; it is found in open forests rather than boggy or swampy habitats. S. ampullaceum is also purplish to pink and occurs in habitats like those of S. rubrum but, in S. ampullaceum, the sporangium is much smaller with an inflated lower portion of the sporangium narrower than the skirt-like one of S. rubrum.
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