This species is recognized by its wide leaf cells, short-necked capsule, peristome divided into filaments above and its strongly spinose spores with distinct tetrad scar. It can be separated from the very similar but smaller T paradoxus by longer leaves, broader costa and larger, peristomate capsule.
Plants small, in loose tufts, green; terricolous. Stems 3-4 mm high, simple; in section central strand small, inner cortical cells large, thin-walled, outer cortical cells in 1-2 rows, smaller, incrassate, reddish. Leaves contorted dry, erect-fiexuose wet; oblong to elliptical, abruptly subulate, 2.0-2.5 mm long; apex obtuse to acute; margins plane, bluntly toothed at apex. Costa broad below, ending below apex; in section flattened, guide cells exposed ventrally or with 2-3 small, ventral surface cells, dorsal stereid or sub-stereid band 2 cells thick, dorsal surface cells smaller than guide cells, surface irregular, some cells bulging outward. Upper laminal cells short-rectangular to quadrate; marginal cells at shoulders and lower subula quadrate; basal cells large, lax, rectangular or oblong-hexagonal. Perichaetial leaves similar to vegetative leaves, base broadly oval, clasping, 2.5-3.0 mm long. Seta erect, 10-13 mm long, yellow; capsule erect to nodding, brown, urn cylindrical, 2.5-3.0 mm long, neck to 1.5 mm long, weakly strumose; peristome reddish, teeth triangular, 0.4-0.5 mm high, perforated below, cleft into two filaments above, with vertical bars below, papillose apically, hyaline and papillose fringe between teeth forming ornate border on filaments and lower parts of teeth; operculum rostrate, to 1 mm high; calyptra cucullate, covering capsule; spores round, 30-35 µm, spinose, with distinct tetrad scar.