Plants small, green, dull. Stems0.5-2.5 cm. Leaves erect to ± spreading, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 2 mm; margins subentire or more often serrulate to serrate in distal 1/3; costa subpercurrent or percurrent; distal medial laminal cells hexagonal to rhomboidal, , 45-85 µm, walls moderately thick. Specialized asexual reproduction absent. Sexual condition paroicous, autoicous, or rarely dioicous; perigonial leaves in dioicous plants broadly short-ovate; perichaetial leaves somewhat differentiated, ± long-lanceolate. Seta orange to orange-brown. Capsule inclined 10-90°, stramineous, orange, or orange-brown, short- to long-and slender-pyriform, neck 1/2-1 time urn length; exothecial cells elongate-rectangular, walls straight; stomata superficial; annulus present; operculum conic; exostome teeth yellow to brown, acute-triangular; endostome hyaline, basal membrane barely exceeding capsule rim or to 1/3 exostome length, segments narrowly or not keeled, narrowly to not perforate, cilia absent to rudimentary, rarely long. Spores 16-23 µm, distinctly roughened.
Sporophytes are common on specimens of P. elongata and are important in separating specimens from other species of Pohlia, especially P. nutans. The long, inclined capsules, with the neck as long as the um, will place specimens in P. elongata. The cilia of the endostome are variable, but never as well developed as in P. nutans; see note under that species.
Plants small to medium-sized, loosely caespitose to gregarious, green to yellow-green; terricolous. Stems 5-10(-20) mm long, reddish to reddish yellow, generally simple, sparsely tomentose below. Leaves longer and narrower above, forming comose tuft, appressed dry, erect-spreading wet; ovate-lanceolate, 1-2 mm long, becoming linear-lanceolate, 1.7-3.5 mm long at apex, forming distinct tuft; apex acuminate; margins generally plane but reflexed medially in upper leaves, entire below, generally denticulate at apex. Costa subpercurrent to percurrent; in section rounded, bulging dorsally, guide cells 2-4, occasionally with 1-2 ventral stereid cells, ventral surface cells large and weakly thickened but smaller than guide cells, dorsal stereid band 3-4 cells thick, frequently with hydroids below central guide cells, dorsal surface cells similar to ventral surface cells but more strongly thickened. Upper lamina cells mostly 4-10: 1, oblong-rhomboidal to linear, 37-100(-175) x 8-12 µm, weakly vermicular; basal cells weakly differentiated, linear to long-rectangular at insertion, walls straight. Autoicous. Perichaetia terminal, leaves ovate-acuminate, to 2 mm long. Seta erect, 10-30 mm long, yellow-brown; capsule generally ± asymmetrical, curved, inclined to horizontal, cylindrical-pyriform, 4-5 mm long, smooth, yellow-brown, neck ± distinct, mostly as long as urn; exothecial cells elongate-rhomboidal, weakly thickened, 2-3 rows at capsule mouth smaller, quadrate; stomata present on neck, phaneropore; annulus differentiated; peristome double, yellowish, exostome teeth narrowly triangular, finely papillose, endostome with low basal membrane, to one fifth height of teeth, segments broad, as high as teeth, cilia rudimentary to absent; operculum conic-apiculate; spores rounded, 18-25 µm, weakly papillose, light brown.
Plants loosely caespitose. Stems 5-20 mm long. Leaves longer and narrower above, appressed when dry, ovate-lanceolate, 1-2 mm long, becoming linear-lanceolate, 1.7-3.5 mm long at apex, forming distinct tuft; apex acuminate; margins entire to denticulate at apex; costa subpercurrent. Upper laminal cells oblong-rhomboidal to linear. Capsule curved, asymmetrical, inclined to horizontal, cylindrical-pyriform, neck as long as urn; peristome with exostome teeth and endostome segments, cilia present, rudimentary or absent.