Schistostega pennata (Hedw.) F. Weber & D. Mohr


Schistostega pennata (goblin gold) is typically found in swampy and shady habitats on the soil of overturned trees and cliff crevices. Locally, Stanley Park and Pacific Spirit Park are good places to find this species.





Overall Structure:

The tiny shoots are loosely attached to the substratum and form short turfs. The protonema, which can be persistent, is very distinctive.




When reflected with light, the protonema luminesces yellow-green, like “fairy-gold”.





The protonema






Leaf Structure:

The shoots are very unusual – the leaves apprear like they are in two rows on the stem. The species name refers to the feather-like appearance of these vegetative shoots. Schistostega pennata shoots




The leaves are fused laterally at their bases which has raised the question – are they actually leaves? Schistostega pennta shoots












The sporophytes of Schistostega pennata are commonly produced, maturing in the spring.


The reproductive shoots are much smaller that the vegetative ones.






The calyptra can be seen atop of the developing sporophyte.


The leaves of the reproductive branches are spirally arranged and look much more leaf-like that those of vegetative shoots.








Schistostega pennata sporangium, oldMature sporangia are a pale yellow-brown color. There are no peristome teeth. The genus name refers to the incorrect observation that the operculum splits to open.