Bryol. Siles. 49. 1869. -- Weissia crispula Hedw., Spec. Musc. 68. 1801.
Dicranoweisia contermina Ren. & Card., Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 3: 269. 1895. -- Dicranoweisia crispula var. contermina (Ren. & Card.) Grout, Moss Fl. N. Am. 1: 73. 1937.
Plants in low and rather dense, lustreless to somewhat glossy green to yellow green turfs, to 40 mm high. Leaves not at all falcate secund, erect spreading when moist, crispate when dry, subtubular inrolled on subula with the surface in lateral view apperaring lumpy due to the cuticular papillae. Larger stem leaves lanceolate to oblong- or linear-lancolate, to 3.5 mm long, 8–10: 1, with the base poorly defined and only obscurely sheathing. Juxtacostal cells of limb to 6 µm wide, mostly isodiametric with somewhat rounded lumens, with bistratose patches or streaks, very obscure due to longitudinal cuticular streaks of papillosity. Short cells of upper leaf lamina extending down along margin beyond shoulder. Median leaf cells of sheathing base rectangular in regular rows, smooth below or throughout, to 6 µm wide and about 8: 1 near costa but gradually shorter and broader toward margin. Marginal cells of leaf base more narrow but not otherwise differentiated. Alar cells thin walled, moderately to not at all demarcated, not extending to costa, quadrate and brownish, to 15 µm wide, not inflated. Costa well defined from base to the percurrent, subpercurrent or short excurrent apex but with the lamina several cells wide very near the leaf apex. Costa cross-section with dorsal and ventral stereids, a single layer of guide cells and with both epidermises well defined. Margin plane, entire throughout or remotely serrulate near apex, bistratose in part or throughout. Rhizoids red-brown, to 15 µm wide at base, smooth, sparsely produced near the base of the plant, sparingly monopodial branched. Stem cross-section with a poorly defined central strand, with the inner corticals hyaline and leptodermous, and with only 1–2 layers of red brown, small and pachydermous outer cortical cells.
Autoicous with perigonia in the axils of leaves close to the perichaetia. Perichaetial leaves to 3 mm long, usually convolute and abruptly narrowed to a truncate apex and a short awn, occasionally sheathing the base of the seta and similar to the adjacent vegetative leaves. Monosetous with the seta to 15 mm, yellow to brownish, straight and smooth. Urn brownish, erect and cylindrical, 2–3: 1, wrinkled when dry but not sulcate, to 1.5 mm long, not strumose. Operculum bluntly rostrate, about 2/3 as long as the urn, with quadrate cells on flaring base but with abrupt differentiation of much elongated cells on beak. Exothecial cells to 25 µm wide, rectangular in regular rows, thin walled, to 3: 1. Exothecial cells near mouth of capsule differentiated in 2–4 rows, mostly more than twice as wide as high. Exothecial cells near mouth of capsule isodiametric in 2–4 rows; these cells continuing on operculum but abruptly differentiated on beak into much elongated cells. Annulus in several rows, persistent. Stomata few on base of urn. Peristome erect when dry, light brown to red brown, inserted below capsule mouth, to 150 µm long, lanceolate and entire or distally somewhat eroded, papillose throughout or vertically striate at extreme base. Spores spherical, minutely papillose, to 20 µm.