Observ. Bot., 35. 1803,
Phenology: Capsules mature early summer.
Habitat: Soil banks and soil of forest floors, also in tundras
Elevation: low to moderate elevations (50-1000 m)
B.C., N.B., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Ala., Alaska, Ark., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis., Mexico, Central America (Guatemala), Europe, Asia, Atlantic Islands (Azores, Iceland, Madeira).
In western North America, Diphyscium foliosum is terrestrial in tundra sites, often in blowouts; it is also found as humid perpendicular sods pendent from ledges and on rock in canyon walls; in eastern North America it is found on banks and horizontal surfaces in forests. The unique golf-tee-like protonemal flaps, which can be excavated from the rhizoids, are a distinctive family trait.