Bryol. Eur. 2(fasc.(29/30). 1846, -- Ceratodon purpureus var. stenocarpus (Bruch & W.P.Schimper) Dixon, New Zealand Inst. Bull. 3(2): 50. 1914.
Plants to 3 cm high in dense to loose turfs, yellow-green to olive-green or, in exposed sites, red-brown. Leaves contorted to somewhat crispate when dry, spreading when moist, to 1.8 mm long, 3–5: 1, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, keeled above, gradually narrowed from near the base to the acute apex. Median cells quadrate, smooth, to 10 µm broad, 1–1.5: 1, in very regular rows, with lumen/wall ratio about 5: 1 and with rounded lumens due to small corner thickenings. Marginal cells mostly like those of the adjacent lamina but sometimes rectangular, to 4: 1. Basal cells, especially those of the juxtacostal region, to 14 µm broad, to 5: 1, rectangular and pellucid with straight lateral walls, arranged in regular rows, moderately thick-walled with the lumen/wall ratio about 2: 1, not pitted. Cells of abaxial costal surface similar to those of lamina; those of adaxial costa rectangular, 3–8: 1, to 10 µm wide. Costa occupying 1/10 of leaf base, gradually tapering and subpercurrent to percurrent. Costa cross-section with a single layer of guide cells and with two strong stereids and a well-differentiated abaxial epidermis. Margin recurved from near the base to near the apex, remotely and often inconspicuously serrulate at least near the apex. Axillary hairs to 150 µm, 3-celled, with one basal brown cell. Stem with inconspicuous central strand, with cells very thin-walled throughout except for one or two layers of thicker-walled, much smaller outer cortical cells. Rhizoids smooth, densely placed on older portions of stems, red-brown and to 30 µm wide at insertion, densely branched into 8 µm wide hyaline ultimate branchlets.
Putatively dioicous. Perichaetial leaves oblong, convolute and sheathing seta, to 4 mm long, truncate and often long mucronate at apex. Seta to 30 mm, yellow to yellow brown, straight, smooth. Capsule mostly only somewhat inclined, glossy yellow-brown to brown. Urn cylindrical but broadest at base, inclined to horizontal, asymmetric, to 2 mm long, about 3–4: 1, usually strongly sulcate and somewhat strumose. Annulus well-differentiated and revoluble. Operculum conic, to 1 mm long. Peristome reddish-brown, to 500 µm long, finely papillose throughout, bifid into filiform segments nearly to base. Exothecial cells more or less rectangular with oblique end-walls, not in regular rows, to 18 µm wide, 4–6: 1, rather thin-walled. Stomata abundant on neck. Spores spherical, to 14 µm, nearly smooth.