Sphagnum compactum DC. ex Lam. & DC., Fl. Franç. 2: 443. 1805.
Plants short, compactly tufted in small, rounded cushions, pale green or brownish, rarely red-brown or pinkish red; cortical cells in 2–3 layers, without fibrils or pores; wood cylinder brown. Stem leaves minute (rarely 1 mm long), concave, shortly lingulate to oblong-triangular, bordered in the lower half, sometimes slightly lacerate at the broad, rounded apex; hyaline cells not divided, without fibrils, on the outer surface without pores or gaps but with membrane pleats, on the inner surface with a membrane gap at the upper end of each cell, small and rounded below but irregular and nearly as large as the cell toward the leaf apex. Branches short, crowded in fascicles of 4–6 (2, rarely 3, spreading); cortical cells in 1 layer, each uniporose at the upper end. Branch leaves imbricate to squarrose, broadly elliptic to oblong-ovate, broadly truncate at an involute-concave or cucullate apex, denticulate along a marginal resorption furrow; hyaline cells slightly convex on both surfaces, on the outer surface with few to numerous round, ringed pores near the commissures, mostly partitioned off by a straight or ring-like fibril and also with few to numerous pseudopores similarly partitioned off, sometimes also with a few irregularly rounded median pores, often with membrane pleats, on the inner surface with more or less ringed corner pores, usually in 3's at adjacent angles, and occasional pseudopores at the commissures; green cells, in section, elliptic, central, and entirely included, the adjacent walls of hyaline cells smooth.