Sphagnum magellanicum Brid., Musc. Recent. 2(1): 24. 1798.
Sphagnum aureum McQueen, Bryologist 92: 405. 1989.
Plants stout, in dense, pink, red, or purplish (green if shaded) cushions or hummocks; cortical cells in 3–4 layers, the outermost cells delicately spiral-fibrillose, with 1 (or occasionally 2–4) large, round to elliptic pores; wood cylinder red. Stem leaves more or less flat, oblong-lingulate, rounded at the apex and finely fringed at the margins; hyaline cells not divided, fibrillose near the leaf apex or not at all, largely resorbed on the outer surface, sometimes on both surfaces. Branches stout and tumid, in fascicles of 4–5 (2 spreading); cortical cells fibrillose, sometimes with 1 large, round pore near the upper ends. Branch leaves imbricate or rarely somewhat spreading at the tips, ca. 2 mm long, broadly ovate, deeply cucullate-concave, rough at back of the apex and denticulate along a marginal resorption furrow; hyaline cells plane or nearly so on both surfaces, on the outer surface with 2–10 large, elliptic, ringed pores at ends, corners, and commissures, usually in 3's at adjacent cell angles, on the inner surface with 0–5 round to elliptic pores or pseudopores at corners and commissures in upper and side regions; green cells in section small, elliptic, central and entirely included.