Muller described Hypnum brachypterum in Syn., ii, 248, from Hornschuch’s description and locality; then in Hedw., 1899, p. 152, he described as Rhynchostegium brachypterum (Hedw., in Sched., as Hypnum) the same species from Genadendal (Breutel), apparently from specimen, forgetting his earlier publication. Branches and leaves subcomplanate, ovate-lanceolate, basal cells few.
Plant autoecious, prostrate, slender, shining green, rooting only occasionally, growing in flat mats, usually near moisture; stems 1-2 inches long, laxly complanate, with spreading leaves 2 mm. long; leaves variable, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate from wide base; main-stem leaves with long subulate point, branch leaves with acute, somewhat oblique apex, somewhat concave below, flat above, with denticulate-serrulate or sometimes almost dentate expanded margin, and weak narrow nerve extending to beyond mid-leaf; cells linear, 100 x 7 µm, gradually changed at the base to irregularly rectangular, 40 x 17 µm or less, of which there are comparatively few. When dry the leaves are sometimes unchanged, sometimes much crisped (possibly an effect of grass-fire). Perichaetal leaves forming a thickened bulblike seta-base, the outer ovate-lanceolate, entire, nerveless, the inner longer, closely sheathing, quickly acuminate, denticulate, nerveless. Seta 1 cm long, red, smooth; capsule horizontal, ovate-oblong or oblong, brown, with short, obliquely beaked lid; peristome teeth reddish below, pale above; inner yellowish, perforated, with two nodose cilia between.