Plants caespitose, dark green to brownish, to 1 cm. Leaves monomorphic, 2-3 mm, crispate-contorted when dry; distal lamina reflexed at shoulders, usually folded when wet, broadly linear-acuminate, apex obtuse; margins bordered all around with elongate hyaline cells, mostly toothed only at apex but rarely with denticulations at shoulders; medial cells obscure because of papillosity, 7.5-8.5 µm, with stout, multifid papillae ad- and abaxially; cancellinae rounded distally. Gemmae clavate-fusiform, smooth, sparse, on adaxial apex of leaf.
Not producing sporophytes in flora area. Bark; low elevations (ca. 30 m); Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America; Africa; Pacific Islands (Hawaii).
Syrrhopodon gaudichaudii is widespread and often abundant elsewhere in its range but is known in the flora area only from a few collections from Highlands Hammock, Highlands County. It is similar in a general way to S. prolifer but differs in its leaves contorted-crispate when dry and folded when moist. The leaves of S. prolifer are usually flexuous or straight when dry and lie flat on the microscope slide when wet.