Thallus forming shrubby tufts 2-4 cm high, of open, coarse, spinulose lobes, matt to glossy brown; main branches to 1 mm diam., ± flattened, uneven, furrowed, pitted, the minor branches more rounded and even. Pseudocyphellae concave, excavate and elongate, usually present in pits on the main branches. Soredia very rare, present only in damaged or parasitized material. Cortical tissue present beneath pycnidia.
Anamorph: conidiomata pycnidia, no other information available.
Teleomorph: ascomata apothecia, scarce; disc 2-5 mm diam. when mature. Interascal tissue of paraphyses 45-60 in length and 1-2 μm diam. Asci 45-55 × 10-13 μm. Ascospores 5.5-6.5 × 2.5-3.5 μm.
Chemistry: thallus C–, K–, Pd– (lichesterinic and protolichesterinic acids).
Assessed by Woods & Coppins (2012) as of Least Concern.
Throughout the British Isles, commoner in the north and west. BLS map here.
Characteristic of acid soil amongst Calluna and of industrial spoil heaps. Widespread and common on heaths, often forming ± extensive patches, from sea-level to 1000 m, locally frequent on coastal sand-dunes and stabilized shingle; mossy scree slopes; rare on mossy rocks, tree-trunks and stumps.