The plants of this subclass are usually thalloid and rarely leafy. The thallus, which is typically differentiated on the dorsal and ventral surface, will usually have air chambers and pores present. Scales on the ventral surface of the gametophyte can generally be observed in several species.
Antheridia are present in chambers in various places depending on the species. Some perigonial chambers can found scattered on the dorsal surface of the thallus, while others can be clustered together on the main thallus or on a specialized raised receptacle (antheridiophore). The location of the archegonia can also vary depending on the species. While some are found on the dorsal surface of the thallus, others can be raised on a stalked receptacle termed the archegoniophore.
Even when the sporophyte reaches maturity the seta is typically short, and may be lacking in some species. The sporangial wall is typically unistratose and the sporophyte generally dehisces by longitudinal valves or slits.
Here are a few species that are classified in the subclass Marchantiidae: