Plants 4-30 × 0.5-1.5 mm (not including flaring distal subulate leaves). Leaves somewhat scale-like proximally; median leaves oblong-lanceolate, rounded or nearly so, 1-2 mm, becoming apiculate to aristate; distal and gametoecial leaves 3-6 mm, long-subulate with ± twisted, ± hyaline, flexuous, smooth to spinose subula; costa ending few cells below apex in proximal and median leaves, ending in subula of distal and gametoecial leaves, interior cells of homogeneous stereids, exterior layer thinner-walled; abaxial lamella 1-6 cells high, sometimes absent, usually developed best on subulate leaves, usually ending well above insertion; interior laminal cells 11-40 × 9-18 µm; marginal cells 14-60 × 3.5-7.0 µm. Seta ca. 2 mm. Capsule ca. 1 mm. Spores 19-23 µm, slightly papillose.
1a. Bryoxiphium norvegicum (Brid.) Mitt. ssp. norvegicum 虾藓原变种 xia xian yuan bian-zhong J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 12: 580. 1869. Phyllogonium (Eustichia) norvegica Brid., Bryol. Univ. 2: 674. 1827. Type. Iceland: Mörch s.n. Plants slender, generally 1–2(–3) cm high, light green or yellowish, shiny, gregarious or in loose tufts. Stems linear, erect, more or less twisted. Leaves crowded, overlapping in 2 rows, keeled, conduplicate, 1–2 mm long, oblong-lanceolate, obtuse or rounded and finely crenate at the apex, becoming abruptly apiculate, somewhat subulate near the tips of the fertile stems and grading into the perichaetial leaves; costa ending somewhat below subula in the uppermost and perichaetial leaves, the dorsal lamella usually in 1–2 rows of cells, not reaching the leaf base, sometimes ending above midleaf, occasionally nearly lacking. Perichaetial leaves about 4–6 mm long, gradually narrowed to a long, flexuose, more or less hyaline awn with entire or sinuose margins. Setae about 2 mm long, erect-flexuose or somewhat cygneous; capsules about 1 mm long, shortly obovoid, somewhat systylius. Spores 19–23 µm, very faintly roughened.