Ceratodon purpureus is a dioicous moss with a color ranging from yellow-green to red. The height amounts to 3 centimeters. It is found worldwide, mainly in urban areas and next to roads on dry sand soils. It can grow in a very wide variety of habitats, from polluted highway shoulders and mine tailings to areas recently denuded by wildfire to the bright slopes of Antarctica. Its common names include redshank, purple forkmoss, ceratodon moss, fire moss, and purple horn toothed moss.