Tortella flavovirens (Bruch) Brotherus and T. humilis Hedwig both form low colonies of upright leafy shoots, with leaves distributed uniformly around the stem (radially symmetrical). Capsules arise from the tips of the shoots. In T. humilis the stems are elongate, forming loose tufts, while in T. flavovirens, they are more compact, forming dense mats of rosettes.
In Florida, both species occur scattered throughout the state. Tortella humilis is found throughout eastern North America and in scattered mountain locations from New Mexico to British Columbia. It is found inland on soil, tree bases, and rocks. T. flavovirens has a more southern distribution, from Texas to North Carolina. It is tolerant of salt spray and is confined to coastal vegetation.