Description: Primary thallus evanescent, usually not visible, consisting of inconspicuous, subentire squamules. Podetia dichotomously branched, hollow inside, cupless, decumbent to erect, yellowish green, with closed axils, 23-40(-70) mm long, 0.8-2.5(-5) mm thick (internode length 3-7 mm, length of last branch 2-9 mm), the apices subulate, not darkened but turning bluish in the herbarium due to crystal needles. Cortex matt, smooth and continuous, with non-thickened cells, sometimes turning verruculose with age; internal surface of podetia striately fibrose. Apothecia unknown. Pycnidia dark, turbinate, constricted at base, terminal, with a colourless jelly. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: K-, C-, KC+ yellow, P-, UV-. Chemistry: usnic and destrinic acids, sometimes terpenoids.
Note: a rare species, found on acid soil in subalpine and alpine tundras, often together with the similar Cladonia uncialis.
Growth form: Fruticose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly asexual, by thallus fragmentation