“algal haircap moss”
How to recognize algal haircap moss: Pogonatum pensylvanicum is one of the most easily recognized bryophytes. In this species, the filamentous alga-like stage of the life cycle called the “protonema” which in most other mosses is just a short-lived transitory stage occurring between the spore and the gametophyte, is instead persistent and long-lived. The gametophytes are quite small, as a large proportion of the photosynthesis is carried out by the protonema. The sporophytes are large and the young cylindrical capsules are covered with a hairy calyptra, looking much like those of the haircap mosses (also in the family Polytrichaceae).
Where to see algal haircap moss: Pogonatum pensylvanicum occurs on moist bare soil, often on streambanks, in wooded area. Sporophytes mature in late summer/fall.