Fruiting body clavate, 1.5 -7.0 cm tall, the fertile "head" oblong to spade-shaped, flattened, often grooved, 0.5-1.5 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, black, velvety from projecting hairs or spines; stipe round, 1-2.5 mm thick, equal, black, conspicuously pubescent
Spores 90-130 x 4-5 µm, filiform, tapering at each end, typically 16 septate, brown, asci 8-spored.
Solitary, scattered to grouped in moss, rotting wood or leaf litter; fruiting from late winter to early spring.
Trichoglossum hirsutum is one of several black earth tongues that occur locally. All require a microscope for positive identification. Velvety hairs on both the stipe and fertile "head" are the primary distinguishing feature of Trichoglossum species. This character separates the genus from Geoglossum, whose species have a relatively smooth surface, but are otherwise similar in appearance.