Plants simple or sparingly branched, erect, prostrate, or pendent. Stems usually dark red; central strand absent or occasionally present; axillary hairs (2–)3–12 cells long, hyaline or with only the basal cells pigmented (sometimes several cells pigmented in Bryobrothera); paraphyllia absent; pseudopa-raphyllia absent (filamentous to subfoliose in Adelothecium); rhizoids 1–3-pinnately branched, in clusters abaxial to the leaf insertions, scattered over the stem, or around branch buds. Leaves mono-morphic or dimorphic with lateral leaves larger than the ventral and dorsal leaves; margins often with a border of narrow, elongate cells; costae present, single or double, variable in length (costa some-times absent in Distichophyllidium); cells rounded, hexagonal, rhombic or elongate-rhomboidal, smooth. Asexual reproduction often by gemmae on main stems, reduced branches, or rhizoids. Dioicous, autoicous, or synoicous. Perichaetia and perigonia on short lateral branches. Setae short or long. Capsules erect or inclined; exothecial cells at times strongly collenchymatous; opercula rostrate; peristome diplolepideous; exostome teeth 16, dorsal (outer) plates thick and cross-striate or thin and pa-pillose, median furrow absent or strongly developed; endostome papillose, basal membranes high or low, segments broad or linear, variously keeled, not or weakly perforate, cilia rudimentary or absent. Ca-lyptrae mitrate, naked or hairy, usually fimbriate-fringed with unicellular or multicellular hairs.