Plants 4.5-7 mm, dark olivaceous. Leaves oval to ovate-lanceolate, 1.1-1.9 × 0.4-0.7 mm, margins incurved distally, apex plane, awn 0.1-1.1 mm, lamina 2-plicate, plications not always reaching base; basal juxtacostal laminal cells quadrate to long-rectangular, 20-47 × 8-12 µm, evenly thick-walled; basal marginal laminal cells quadrate to rectangular, 12-34 × 6-12 µm, thin or thick end walls and thin lateral walls; medial laminal cells 1-stratose; distal laminal cells 2-stratose. Sexual condition dioicous. Seta 0.8-1.2 mm. Capsule emergent, ovoid to campanulate; peristome present, cribrose, hygrocastique.
Acidic, dry sandstone, shale, and granitic boulders and bedrock exposures but also found on volcanic outcrops and granodiorites; low to high elevations (0-3300 m); Greenland; Alta., B.C., Nfdl. and Labr., N.W.T., Nunavut, Ont., Que., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Colo., Maine, N.Mex., N.Y., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex.; Eurasia.