Tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Genus 1, species ca. 23 (1 in the flora).
Splachnobryum has been regarded as the sole genus of the family Splachnobryaceae (A. Koponen 1981). Previously the genus was placed in the Pottiaceae or in the Splachnaceae. The axillary archegonia, absence of paraphyses, single circle of peristome teeth (considered to represent the endostome by Koponen), and the peculiar axillary hairs (mucilage hairs in the sense of Koponen) help define the family. The latter are sometimes difficult to demonstrate; they are helpful in identification of sterile specimens. Somewhat similar axillary hairs also occur in the Pottiaceae, in Globulinella globifera (G. E. L. Hampe) W. C. Steere, except that in the latter the terminal cell is clavate and symmetric instead of swollen and asymmetric