Description: Primary thallus squamulose, the squamules persisting or evanescent, 2-7 mm long, up to 3 mm wide, narrowly elongate, sinuate to crenate, involute-concave, glaucescent above, white beneath. Podetia inflated-bacilliform, simple or sparingly short-branched, hollow inside, grey to chalky white in the decorticate parts, darkening or even melanotic at the very base, cupless, 2-4(-5) cm tall and up to 2.5 mm thick, corticate and often squamulose only at base, sparsely granulose-sorediate in upper parts, the sterile apices blunt, the fertile one becoming dilated. Stereome cartilaginous, partly trabeculate; central canal grooved. Apothecia (very rare in Italian material), terminal, brown, convex, often compound and perforate. Asci 8-spored, clavate, thickened at apex, with a K/I+ blue tholus and a K/I+ strongly blue outer gelatinous sheath, Cladonia-type. Ascospores 1-celled, hyaline, ellipsoid. Pycnidia dark, semi-immersed in the basal squamules or in podetial tips, with a colourless jelly. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: K+ yellow turning red, C-, KC-, P+ yellow slowly turning orange, UV-. Chemistry: atranorin, norstictic acid, connorstictic acid.
Note: a cool-temperate to circumboreal-montane lichen found on calciferous soil rich in humus in open situations, most frequent in the mountains.
Growth form: Fruticose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly asexual, by soredia, or soredia-like structures (e.g. blastidia)