Description: Primary thallus squamulose, usually persistent and forming large colonies, the squamules 3-6(-10) mm long, 2-6 mm wide, round or weakly elongate, lobate to incised, glaucescent to rarely olive-green and often verruculose or checkered above, white beneath, sometimes darkening towards the attachment point. Podetia rather rare, cupless, hollow inside, elongate, 1-3(-5) cm tall, 0.8-1(-5) mm thick, simple or sparingly branched, with blunt apices, glaucous grey to brownish grey, paler or yellowish towards the base, fissured, with numerous, up to 1 mm (usually less) wide, peltate squamules. Apothecia brown, convex, terminal on podetia, to 5 mm across. 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 on the tips of podetia and on the squamules, constricted at base, with a colourless jelly. Conidia bacilliform. Photobiont chlorococcoid. Spot tests: K-, C-, KC-, P+ yellow, UV-. Chemistry: psoromic, rangiformic and norrangiformic acids, plus minor unknown compounds.
Note: a northern-alpine species found on organic soil and weathered siliceous rocks near or above treeline. Earlier records from Toscana are wrong (Ravera & al. 2020b), and most Italian records, including the recent one from Basilicata by Potenza (2006), need confirmation.
Growth form: Fruticose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris