Gymnostomum Nees & Hornsch., Bryol. Germ. 1: 112. 1823, nom. cons.
Gymnostomum Hedw., 1801, nom. rejic.
Plants small to medium-sized, light- to dark-green above, brown below, often crusted with calcareous deposits, in tufts or cushions. Stems erect, sparsely and irregularly branched, sclerodermis present or absent, hyalodermis present or absent, central strand present; rhizoids dimorphic: slender, red, smooth, branched ones scattered on the stem and massive, red, roughened, sparsely branched ones originating in leaf axils. Leaves ligulate to linear-lanceolate, plane or weakly concave above, wide‑spreading when wet, appressed when dry; apices contorted, acute to obtuse or sometimes rounded; margins plane, entire to crenulate; costae ending below apex, narrow, dorsal surface papillose, ventral surface papillose, guide cells present, ventral stereid band present or absent, dorsal stereid band present, ventral surface cells enlarged, dorsal surface cells smaller than laminal cells and strongly thickened; laminal cells weakly heterogeneous, rounded to quadrate sometimes transversely rectangular, papillose by simple, low papillae, basal cells homogeneous, short-rectangular, smooth. Asexually reproducing by gemmae in leaf axils. Dioicous. Perigonia and perichaetia terminal. Setae elongate. Capsules exserted, erect, short-cylindrical; peristome absent; opercula rostrate. Calyptrae cucullate.