Bryologist 19: 70. 1916,
Habitat: Common, especially in lowland and coastal areas throughout arctic North America, on non-calcareous soil and gravel in areas of local disturbance, alluvium, slumping banks of streams and lakes, tussocks, frost boils, late snow patches, rarely submerged in snow melt streams
Elevation: low to moderate elevations (0-1200 m)
Greenland, Nunavut, Yukon, Alaska, n Europe, Asia (n Siberia), Atlantic Islands (Iceland).
This species typically has entire leaves, lamellae with entire margins, and ± symmetrical, long- cylindric capsules. Psilopilum laevigatum differs in its more slender, wiry appearance, with smaller, erect-incurved, bordered leaves, margins of lamellae incised and dentate in profile, and capsules distinctly asymmetrically ovoid and gibbous. Variety anomalum has leaf margins finely denticulate towards the apex, and less regular, gibbous capsules. Such intermediates may represent hybrids between the two species (D. G. Long 1985). In Nunavut, it is known from Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island, and the Arctic Archipelago.