This species is found on tree trunks and roots, and rocks in damp areas.
The leaves are very fine and curve to one side. They shrivel when there is insufficient miosture, but quickly revive when it rains.
It can be confused with Cyrtopus setosus, but Cyrtopus often has capsules on it, and its shoots tend to curve upwards.
Under a microscope it can be seen that there are no teeth on the leaf edges of Echinodium whereas there are single teeth on the leaf edges of Cyrtopus. Another look-alike, Cryptopodium bartramoides, has double teeth.