Sometimes called ‘Hedgehog Moss’, this moss forms compact cushions 1-2cm high of tiny leaves 3-4mm long which are grey-green and narrow. The pointed, whitish hair-tips of the leaves can sometimes give the moss a silvery appearance, which is a characteristic of the species and is very noticeable in drier weather. The capsules are oval which usually bend back into the cushion, although in dry weather they straighten. The lid of the capsule has a long beak.
It does particularly well in limestone areas on boulders, but because of its tolerance to pollution it does well in urban areas, found growing on walls, roofs or paving, including concrete or tarmac. It is found all year round. The commonest Grimmia in the UK, and widespread.