Plants red-brown to purple-black. Leaves straight to secund, panduriform, widest in distal half, apex usually symmetric; costa absent; leaf margins entire; basal laminal cells rectangular to long-rectangular, marginal cells rectangular, walls thick, pitted-nodose; medial laminal cells quadrate, 1-stratose, lumens irregularly stellate to rhombic; laminal papillae low or absent. Sexual condition autoicous; perichaetial leaves differentiated, convolute-sheathing. Spores 20-35 µm.
Rock or soil in streams; low to moderate elevations; Greenland; B.C., Nfld. and Labr. (Labr.), Nunavut, Yukon; Alaska; n Eurasia; c Africa.
Like Andreaea alpina, A. obovata has spores in two size classes, the smaller apparently abortive. It is very rare in the flora area and can be distinguished from A. rupestris by the panduriform leaves.