How to recognize Brotherella recurvans: This is a shiny braided complanate (flattened) moss growing in mats on the forest floor. The leaves are ovate with a sharply toothed tip that is curved to one side of the stem or branch. Under a microscope the leaves have swollen thin-walled alar cells at the outer corners of the leaf base, with one or two rows of smaller oblong cells above those along the leaf margin; the costa is short and double which cannot usually be seen with a hand lens. The leaf tip is toothed.
Where to find Brotherella recurvans: This moss inhabits the low places in the forest on soil, logs, tree bases and rocks in the eastern part of North America. It is often found in hemlock forests.