Leaves long-ovate, elliptic or lingulate, apex rounded and short-apiculate or muticuous, margins weakly recurved in proximal 1/2 of leaf, weakly bordered in distal 1/2-3/4 of leaf with (2-)4-6 rows of thicker-walled, smaller cells; costa subpercurrent, percurrent or shortly excurrent as a small, sharp mucro, lacking an adaxial pad of cells, distally somewhat narrow, 3-4 cells across adaxial surface; distal laminal cells hexagonal, width 13-18(-24) µm, 1:1, strongly papillose. Sexual condition dioicous. Sporophytes exerted. Seta 0.9-1.5 cm. Capsule stegocarpic, not systylius, cylindric, erect and nearly straight, urn 1.5-2.5 mm; peristome of 32 twisted filaments, basal membrane low; operculum 1-1.5 mm. Spores 13-15 µm, spheric, essentially smooth.
Soil, rock; low to high elevations (0-1700 m); B.C.; Calif., Oreg., Wash.; Europe (France, Spain).
Both Tortula bolanderi and T. amplexa differ from other species of the genus in the red color of the leaves in nature, a trait of Syntrichia. The costal section, however, exhibits a rounded stereid band rather than the semilunate shape of the latter.