Basidiocarps solitary or in small groups, 13-60 mm high with stalk to 35 mm long, more or less pear-shaped or (rarely) almost globose, without prominent rhizoids at the base, attached to living mosses. Outer wall of the fruit-body two-layered: exoperidium (outer surface layer) smooth, thick, white, later present as thin, scattered, grey-white, appressed scales; endoperidium (inner surface layer) papery, yellow-brown, reddish brown to bronzy blackish brown, opening with an apical slit that later becomes irregularly torn. Gleba (fleshy spore-bearing inner mass of the fruit-body) olive to olive-brown. Subgleba (fleshy tissue in the stalk) uniformly solid, compact, olive- to grey-brown, grading into gleba, without lacunae (spaces or cavities). Spore deposit olive-brown. Basidiospores 3.5-5.5 µm diam., globose to subglobose, rough to warted, with remnants of the sterigma attached, 6.5-15 µm long, straight, trunctate to pointed. Capillitium (hyphae interspaced between spores in the fruitbody) typical of Bovista, with short forked tapering branches to 6-12 µm diam., non-poroid, rarely septate, not spiny. Paracapillitium (thin-walled hyaline septate hyphae, situated as capillitium) not present in fully mature fruitbodies.