The monotypical genus Trichocolea is with this species the only representative of the family in Europe. The species can be found in all parts of the northern hemisphere with moderated or cooler climate.
The in most cases more or less regularly double or triple pinnate plants form wide, often 10cm large, yellowish green turfs, which often look ab bit spongy because of the shape of the leaves.
The leaves (i.e. the leaves and the similar shaped underleaves) are divided nearly down to their base into four parts, and these parts are ciliate with numerous long and often ramified hairs. On the stems too there are ramified cell hairs (paraphyllia).
The species can be found especially near brooks or springs in gorges of the lower mountains. It is calcifuge.