Leaves 2-3 mm; margins entire; costa 155-180 µm wide; basal laminal cells 19-55 × 4-19 µm, narrower at margins; distal laminal cells 24-55 × 3-7 µm. Specialized asexual reproduction by clusters of spindle-shaped brood leaves in the comal tufts. Sporophytes not found in North America.
Humic or peaty soil, rocks, especially sandstone bluffs, rotten wood, rarely bark of trees; 0-2000 m; Ark., Ill., Iowa, Ky., Md., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va., Wis.; Mexico; Central America (Guatemala); Asia; Africa (Malawi).
Brothera leana is easily identified by clusters of brood leaves always present in the comal tufts. Campylopus fragilis has a similar appearance, but it has a different transverse section of the costa, with dorsal instead of median stereids. Furthermore, the ranges of the two species in North America do not overlap.