Plants densely tufted, light to dark green, dull. Stems 0.5-3 cm, erect, forked, with central strand, with rhizoids confined to base of stems and firmly affixed to substratum. Leaves lanceolate, flexuose, crisped or curled when dry, 1-3.5 mm; costa single, subpercurrent, narrow; margins plane to incurved or recurved, 1- or 2-stratose; proximal cells elongate, 15-30 µm, smooth; alar cells with a few enlarged cells on margins, often colored or undifferentiated; distal cells subquadrate 7-10 µm wide, smooth or with longitudinal cuticular ridges. Specialized asexual reproduction sometimes present, multicellular, on abaxial surface, elliptic to short-linear, of 4-10 cells, 1-seriate or with occasional 2-seriate portions, smooth. Sexual condition autoicous; pergonial leaves abruptly narrowed to a long or short subula; perichaetial leaves variable, resembling vegetative leaves or broadly obtuse to acute or short-acuminate. Seta solitary, yellowish, 3-15 mm, smooth. Capsule light to dark brown when mature, elliptic to short-cylindric, 0.5-2 mm, smooth to longitudinally wrinkled when dry; annulus present, of 1-3 rows of cells, deciduous or absent; operculum rostrate, beak straight or oblique; peristome single, 16 teeth inserted below darkened cells of mouth, teeth entire to divided at apices, red-brown with hyaline tips. Calyptra cucullate, smooth, covering 1/3-1/2 of capsule, entire at base. Spores spherical, 15-20 µm, weakly papillose.
Species ca. 20 (2 in the flora): North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands (Hawaii, New Zealand), Australia, Antarctica.
Species of Dicranoweisia are usually epiphytic, epixylic, epilithic, or terrestrial and are found widespread throughout the world.