English: Common haircap; Great golden maidenhair; Great goldilocks; Common haircap moss. Common hair moss.
German: Goldenes Frauenhaarmoos.
Region: temperate, boreal; Northern Hemisphere, Mexico, Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia.
Habitat: humid, damp, with heavy rainfall; in bogs, wet heathland, along forest streams, wet moors in the uplands, wet woodlands, bogs, ditches, lake margins, heaths, old gravel pits, sand pits by pools, under willow and birch scrub; tolerating shade and moderate pollution, nutrient enrichment.
Moss; exceptionally tall, up to 30 to 70 cm, commonly 5 to 10 cm.
Well-grown, large, hummocks or turfs.
Stems: tough, wiry shoots up to 40 cm long
Leaves: 8–12 mm long; narrowly spearhead-shaped; spread or strongly curve away from the stem when moist, with a glossy sheathing base, giving a starry appearance viewed from above; margins become inrolled, wavy and gently twist around the stems when dry; margins are sharply toothed and the broad nerve is covered with up to 70 ridges of tissue; leaves surrounding the base of the seta are longly tapering and toothed above.
Capsules: 4-angled, box-like, produced in summer; on a long, to 12 cm, reddish seta; erect when young, becoming inclined to horizontal with age; its lid is shortly beaked; covered by a long, golden brown, hairy calyptra when young.