Bryol. Europ. 2: 153. 1846 ,.
Plants slender, elongate, in dense tomentose tufts, yellowish green to dark green. Stems 1–6 cm, simple or branched; rhizoids from base to middle of stem forming a conspicuous tomentum. Leaves distichous, linear subula spreading from erect, whitish ovate-lanceolate or oblong sheathing base, margins plane to slightly incurved, becoming denticulate in subula particularly near the apex; costa excurrent, occupying most of subula, 1/4–1/3 width of leaf at base, subula roughened abaxially; lamina cells of sheathing base linear to oblong-linear, linear-flexuose or rectangular, becoming rectangular distally and quadrate to short-rectangular in subula. Specialized asexual reproduction unknown. Sexual condition autoicous, paroicous or synoicous; perigonia axillary, or on short branches proximal to perichaetium; perichaetial leaves not differentiated. Seta yellow-brown to reddish, elongate, erect. Capsule erect and symmetric or inclined and asymmetric, exserted, brown, cylindric to ovoid-cylindric, ± wrinkled when dry and empty; annulus of 2–3 rows of large, pale cells, deciduous; operculum conic, straight; peristome single, teeth16, variously split to near the base into 2(–3) minutely papillose filaments, teeth sometimes arranged in 8 groups of 2 teeth. Calyptra cucullate. Spores globose to ovoid, finely papillose.
Species 14 (3 in the flora).
Distichium capillaceum var. curvatum Flowers was described as a probable hybrid between D. capillaceum and D. inclinatum, characterized by capsule cylindric and strongly curved, and spores 20–23 µm.
|1||Capsule erect, cylindric, straight to slightly arcuate, spores 15-25 µm.||Distichium capillaceum|
|1||Capsule inclined, ovoid to oblong-ovoid, spores more than 25 µm||> 2|
|2||Peristome with a yellowish to hyaline basal membrane uniting teeth into 8 separated groups each of 2 teeth.||Distichium hagenii|
|2||Peristome of 16, evenly spaced, irregularly divided or perforate teeth.||Distichium inclinatum|