Plants small to robust, usually caespitose, dull, usually green above, brown, yellow-brown, or reddish below. Stems generally erect, occasionally tomentose, with axillary hairs hyaline throughout or with 1-2(or 3) yellowish or brownish basal cells; central strand usually present and hyaloderm sometimes differentiated. Propagula often present, on leaves, in leaf axils, or on rhizoids. Leaves usually larger and more crowded at the stem tip, often contorted when dry, spreading when moist, lanceolate or sometimes oval to lingulate, the base often differentiated; margins usually entire, often revolute; costa single, ending at or near the apex, with 1 or 2 stereid bands, guide cells, epidermal cells, and sometimes hydroids (Begleiter); upper cells occasionally bistratose, small, subquadrate, usually papillose, occasionally mammillose-bulging; basal cells usually enlarged, often thin-walled. Dioicous or monoicous. Perichaetia usually terminal. Setae usually elongate; capsules generally stegocarpous, usually erect and symmetric, spherical, ovoid, or cylindric; annulus often differentiated; operculum (if present) conic to rostrate; peristome generally present, consisting of 32 filiform divisions or 16 variously perforate or cleft teeth, often arising from a basal membrane, sometimes twisted. Spores mostly spherical, finely papillose. Calyptrae nearly always cucullate, smooth or rarely roughened, naked.