Barbula Hedw., Sp. Musc. Frond. 115. 1801, nom. cons.
Hydrogonium (C. Müll.) Jaeg., Ber. Thätigk. St. Gallischen Naturwiss. Ges. 1877-78. 405. 1880. Trichostomum sect. Hydrogonium C. Müll., Linnaea 40: 297. 1876. Didymodon subg. Hydrogonium (C. Müll.) Kindb., Eur. N. Amer. Bryin. 2: 273. 1897. Barbula subg. Hydrogonium (C. Müll.) Fleisch., Musci Buitenzorg 1: 352. 1904. Barbula sect. Hydrogonium (C. Müll.) Saito, J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 39: 492. 1975.
Semibarbula Herz. ex Hilp., Beih. Bot. Zentralbl. 50: 626. 1933.
Plants small to medium-sized, yellow-green, green, dark-green, red, or brown above, brown to reddish brown below, in loose tufts or cushions. Stems erect, sparsely and irregularly branched, sclerodermis and central strand present; rhizoids reddish brown, sparse. Axillary hairs 5–8 cells long, all cells hyaline. Leaves triangular-, oblong-, or ovate-lanceolate, lanceolate, lingulate, ligulate, appressed-incurved, often twisted and contorted above when dry, deeply grooved along the costa on upper ventral surface; apices rounded to obtusely acute, often mucronate; lamina unistratose; margins entire, at times denticulate at apex, usually recurved, occasionally plane; costa usually percurrent to excurrent as a short mucro, occasionally subpercurrent, ventral superficial cells elongate, occasionally quadrate to short-rectangular, guide cells and two stereid bands well-developed, ventral surface layer of enlarged cells; upper cells quadrate, oblate or short-rectangular, firm-walled, pluripapillose, occasionally smooth, basal cells usually differentiated, enlarged, rectangular, walls thin or firm, at times porose, bulging, or short- to long-rectangular, hyaline, usually smooth, alar cells not differentiated. Asexual reproduction by propagula on rhizoids or in leaf axils. Perichaetia terminal. Dioicous. Setae elongate, smooth. Capsules long-cylindrical; stomata in neck; opercula long conic; annuli well-developed; peristome teeth 32, filamentous, twisted counter-clockwise, basal membrane low. Calyptrae cucullate.