This species can usually be found growing at the base of trees and on stones near a water source, such as by lowland rivers. It is uncommon for P. cordaeana to be growing on higher grounds as well as it tends to avoid limestone altogether.
P. cordaeana is a species that can be difficult to identify simply because it shares many characteristics as other Porella species. The gametophyte is typically glossy and yellow-green or dull dark green in color. It is branched and can seem flat at times while the shoots are often pinnate.
The lateral leaves of this species can be as wide as 2 mm and are incubously inserted. Ventral, triangular-shaped, lobes are also present and their outer margin typically curls inward. The underleaves of this species are very spaced out, such that they barely overlap each other and the stem is usually visible between them. Generally the underleaves are slightly twisted, about twice as wide as the lobules, and their margins can be recurved. If you are still unsure whether you have identified this species properly, staining the leaf with IKI will cause the cells to turn violet. Furthermore, this species has an aromatic taste which does not have a strong peppery taste (such as Porella roellii).
Multiple oil bodies can be seen in the leaf cells.
Sporophyte are not frequent, however they are small and on a short seta.