In the family members of this genus can easily be recognized under the microscope: Beteen the cells of the round leaves there are triangular corner thickenings. And in every cell there are two or three big, sometimes bean shaped, sometimes round or spindle oil bodies, which can't be overlooked.
Besides of this the plants of this genus are distinguished by other plants of the family by their perianth, which is nearly hidden in bracts. A marsupium exists. Whereas most other plants of the family don't have any underleaves at all, plants of this genus sometimes have small and insignificant lanceolate underleaves.
The genus consists of 6 species, 5 of which can be found in europe, and 4 in germany.
In Nardia scalaris every cell contains two thick, bean or sausage shapes oil bodies. The corners between the cells are triangular thickened.
The species grows at humid places on soil or on rocks. It can be found mainly in the mountains, and is in some places rather common.