Description: Primary thallus squamulose, usually persistent, the squamules middle-sized, 1-5 mm long, crenate to entire, convex to concave, grey, olive-green or brownish in upper part, white beneath, often becoming sorediate. Podetia grey-green (whitish in the parts where the soredia have fallen off), bacilliform, corticate only at base, 1-2(-3) cm tall, 0.5-1(-1.5) mm thick, usually unbranched and with pointed ends, only occasionally with very small cups, with a corticate and sometimes squamulose zone in lower part, farinose-sorediate in upper part, the soredia 20-50 μm in diam.. Apothecia rather rare, terminal, brown, convex. 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 brown to black, semi-immersed in the tips of podetia, often also developing on the primary squamules. Conidia cylindrical. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: K-, C-, KC-, P+ red; medulla UV-. Chemistry: fumarprotocetraric acid, rarely also quaesitic acid.
Note: a widespread holarctic species found on a wide variety of organic substrata, incl. bark, and then mostly on the basal parts of boles, but mostly on soil rich in humus and rotten wood, with a wide altitudinal range. According to Burgaz & al. (2020), molecular data do not confirm the distinction at species level of the morphologically and chemically very similar C. ochrochlora, which is therefore treated here as a synonym of C. coniocraea.
Growth form: Fruticose
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly asexual, by soredia, or soredia-like structures (e.g. blastidia)