Ecology and distribution. Dry to semidry vegetation; on tree trunks (including Prosopis); associated in part with Fabronia ciliaris, Frullania, Lindbergia mexicana, Orthotrichum diaphanum var. podocarpi. At elevations from 2000-3100 m (Ecuador: 2615 m, Bolivia: 2000-3100 m). Southwest and eastern United States, Mexico, Colombia to Bolivia (not yet recorded for Peru), Chile, Brazil; elsewhere rather widely distributed, absent in Southeast Asia.
The spathulate leaves with a short hyaline to yellowish excurrent awn, costa on back short spinose, unipapillose, simple or branched, rarely bipapillose (dorsal surface) laminal cells, and smooth, ovoid or spherical gemmae present on the upper leaf surface aid to distinguish this species.