How to recognize Eurhynchium hians: This moss is a small mat forming moss with ovate leaves and an acute tip, and stem-leaf middle cells 24-50 microns long. There are teeth all around the leaf and the single costa usually projects as a short spine from the back of the leaf. If the capsule is present the seta is papillose. Branch leaves are 0.8-1.4mm long. Some of these details are used to distinguish this moss from its sister moss, Eurhynchium pulchellum, which has shorter branch leaves, and longer leaf cells and a smooth seta. Both of them have long beaks on their capsule lids, operculum, as well as toothy leaves and costal spines.
Where to see Eurhynchium hians: Look for this moss on calcareous soil, or rocks in wet places or near streams. It is found mostly in the Southeastern and Midwestern parts of the United States.