in H. G. A. Engler and K. Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 234/235[I,3]: 1214. 1909
Plants very large, dark to bright green. Stems with secondary stems erect-ascending; branches elongate, 1- or 2-pinnate; paraphyllia and pseudoparaphyllia present. Leaves erect to erect-patent when dry, spreading when moist; margins recurved at base, plane at apex; medial laminal cells occasionally prorate. Sexual condition dioicous; perichaetia lateral, inner leaves apiculate, apiculus toothed. Seta emergent from perichaetial leaves. Capsule barely exserted; peristome double; exostome teeth linear-subulate; endostome segments slender, strongly papillose. Calyptra cucullate, smooth.
w North America, nw Mexico.
According to D. H. Norris and J. R. Shevock (2004), Dendroalsia is recognizable when dry as each of the branches curls downward so the whole resembles a clenched fist. When wet, the stems and branches uncurl to form broad, handsome fernlike tails orthotropic to the substrate (usually a tree trunk or vertical rock face).