This is one of the largest mosses in interior Alaska. The color varies from yellow-green to orange-brown. The leaves are glossy, concave and highly wrinkled (look with a handlens), and can be hooked at the tips, closely overlapping each other on the stem. Plants have a main stem, and irregular lateral branches. The species is usually found in dry, rocky situations, especially calcareous slopes.
Plants are almost never found fertile, instead spreading via lateral branching and fragmentation.