Plants in dense turfs, dull yellow-green to red-brown distally, brown or red-brown proximally. Stems small, erect, 0.6–3 cm; hyalodermis absent, sclerodermis thick, central strand present; axillary hairs short, 3–4 cells long, the basal 1(–2) cells yellow. Leaves incurved and weakly contorted when dry, weakly spreading when moist, short ovate-lanceolate to triangular; base little differentiated or ovate; margins strongly recurved in basal 3/4 or nearly throughout, entire, lamina 1-stratose; apex narrow and bluntly acute, sometimes acuminate, occasionally with an apiculus; costa ending before the apex to percurrent, adaxial outgrowths absent, sinuose beyond leaf middle, rather thick, adaxial cells quadrate in 3–4 rows, papillose; transverse section circular or somewhat flattened, adaxial epidermis differentiated, adaxial stereid band moderately developed, guide cells 4–5 in 1 layer, hydroid strand lacking, abaxial stereid band present, abaxial epidermal cells present, semicircular or semi-elliptic; basal cells weakly differentiated medially near the insertion, quadrate to subrectangular, 1(–3):1, walls somewhat thin to evenly thickened; distal laminal cells irregularly hexagonal-quadrate to oval or elliptical, 1:1, 1-stratose, with small, sharp, simple to 2-fid papillae, 4–6 per lumen, thin- to somewhat thick-walled, in section superficially flat to subconvex on both surfaces. Specialized asexual reproduction absent. Sexual condition dioicous; perigonia at stem apex or as subterminal buds; [perichaetia terminal, distinctive, leaves convolute-sheathing, long-rectangular with an apiculus, to 2 mm. Seta 4–6 mm. Capsule stegocarpous, theca cylindric, annulus of highly vesiculose cells, revoluble; operculum short-conic; peristome lacking. Calyptra cucullate. Spores 15–18 µm.] Laminal KOH color reaction red.
e North America, Mexico, South America (Bolivia), Asia (China, the Himalayas, India).
Species 2 (1 in the flora).
Bellibarbula recurva has recently been removed from Bryoerythrophyllum. As originally described by Chen, Bellibarbula was separated from other genera in the Barbuleae by the ovate-lanceolate leaves, undifferentiated or scarcely differentiated leaf bases, papillose distal laminal cells, eperistomate capsule and convolute-sheathing perichaetial leaves. It is separable from Barbula by the color reaction to KOH of the distal laminal cells: yellow or orange in Barbula, red to brick-red in Bellibarbula. The sinuose costa in the distal part of the leaf differentiates Bellibarbula from Bryoerythrophyllum.