Description: Primary thallus squamulose, persistent or ephemeral, the squamules middle-sized to rather large, 2-4(-5) mm long, 1-3 mm wide, elongate and incised, grey green above, white beneath, sometimes sorediate. Podetia goblet-shaped, hollow inside, green to grey-green, mostly ecorticate and esquamulose, 0.5-3 cm tall, with small, regular, rarely marginally proliferating cups (c. 0.5 cm diam.) and long stalks which are 1-2 mm thick at base, farinose-sorediate throughout, the soredia 30-50 μm in diam. Apothecia rare, dark brown, convex, sometimes aggregated into 1-5 mm wide clusters. 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 brown, mainly found along the margins of cups. Conidia bacilliform. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: K-, C-, KC-, P+ red, UV-. Chemistry: fumarprotocetraric acid, sometimes with additional quaesitic acid.
Note: a widespread temperate to arctic-alpine, holarctic species found on rotten wood, soil, at the base of trunks, with a wide ecological range and a correspondingly wide altitudinal range.
Growth form: Fruticose
Photobiont: green algae other than Trentepohlia
Reproductive strategy: mainly asexual, by soredia, or soredia-like structures (e.g. blastidia)