Distribution: N - Lomb (Rivellini & Valcuvia 1996, Ravera & al. 2023), Piem (Morisi & Sereno 1995). C - Tosc.
Description: Primary thallus squamulose, usually persistent, the squamules abundant, round to strap-shaped, 1-3 mm long, green or grey-green, often partially browned in upper part, melanotic at base. Podetia long and slender, hollow inside, 1-8 cm tall, 1-3 mm thick, unbranched or with 1-2 branches and closed axils, usually pointed at apex, rarely with narrow cups proliferating from the center, whitish or bluish grey, strongly melanotic and checkered at base, the cortex of more or less contiguous areoles on the upper third, but scattered over a black stereome over much of the stalk, giving it a spotted appearance; podetial squamules very common, evenly spaced and ear- or wing-like, rounded, sticking out almost at right angles. Apothecia infrequent, dark brown. 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 common, terminal on tips of podetia, ovoid to subglobose, constricted at base, with a colourless jelly. Conidia bacilliform. Spot tests: K+ yellow, C-, KC-, P+ red, UV-. Chemistry: atranorin and fumarprotocetraric acid complex.
Note: on acid soil near or above treeline; all Italian records of this species are under C. stricta or C. lepidota. C. stricta is an arctic species, and according to Ahti (in litt.) Italian records most likely refer to C. trassii (see Ahti 1998).
Growth form: Fruticose
Substrata: soil, terricolous mosses, and plant debris