Sphagnum imbricatum Hornsch. ex Russ., Arch. Naturk. Liv- Ehst- Kurlands, Ser. 2, Biol. Naturk. 7: 99. 1865.
Plants often fairly robust, in pale green to dark yellow-brown cushions, hummocks, or carpets; cortical cells in 3–4 layers, fibrillose, the outer cells with few to many irregularly rounded pores, the inner walls of the innermost cells finely cross-striate; wood cylinder of stem brown. Stem leaves oblong to lingulate, rounded at the apex, finely fringed and hyaline at the margins; hyaline cells commonly divided, without fibrils and pores, almost entirely resorbed on the outer surface. Branches stout, normally in fascicles of 5 (2 spreading), cortical cells in 1 layer, fibrillose, 1–2)-porose, the inner walls finely cross-striate. Branch leaves broadly ovate, cucullate-concave, roughened at back of the apex and serrulate-bordered by a resorption furrow; hyaline cells very concave on the outer surface, nearly plane on the inner, on the outer surface with 2–5 1arge, ringed, elliptic pores, in 3's at adjacent angles, more numerous (11–17) and rounded-elliptic toward the middle of the leaf base, on the inner surface toward the leaf apex with small, ringed corner pores and also 1–6 very large, round, unringed pores in a single row or, toward the margins, as many as 12 in 2 rows; green cells in section equilateral-triangular, broadly exposed on the inner surface, the side walls of hyaline cells beset with comb fibrils (often present only near the leaf insertion).