A small, dainty-looking Sphagnum, golden orange or yellowish-brown, forming loose carpets, but green in shade or in submerged forms. Capitula consist of small branches curved in towards the centre. Fascicles have up to 6 or 7 branches. Branch leaves are small, typically less than 1.2 mm long, asymmetrical on the lower part of branches and turned to one side when viewed from above. Stem leaves are very small to tiny (as little as 0.5 mm long), and are equilateral-triangular in shape with a rounded tip, which may appear fringed or slightly notched when viewed with a -20 hand lens. Stems are dark brown, especially lower down, though can be green in shade. Capsules are rare.