Primary thallus: squamulose, soon disappearing; squamules: 1-3 mm long, up to 1.5 mm wide, crenate-lobate to nearly entire podetia: 20-120 mm tall, up to 2 mm wide, brownish white, basal portions blackening, unbranched or sparingly dichotomously branched laterally or rarely from cup margins; branches: solid at base; tips: subulate or cup-forming; cups: 1.5-3 mm wide, irregular; margins: often with elongating proliferations, some proliferations also arising from centers of cups, although rarely in consecutive series surface: rough, esorediate or sparingly granulose sorediate; cortex: continuous to verruculose, scattered and disappearing in older specimens, often richly squamulose at the base Apothecia: frequent, up to 3 mm wide, brown ascospores: ellipsoid, 13.5-16 x 4-5 micro meter Pycnidia: scarce, on cup margins, subglobose, with hyaline gelatin conidia: 3-8 x 0.5-1 micro meter Spot tests: K- or K+ dingy yellow changing to dingy brown, C-, KC-, P+ brick red, UV- Secondary metabolite: fumarprotocetraric acid. Habitat and ecology: on thin soil on exposed or mossy roadcuts or other soil banks, also found on stabilized sand dunes among short grasses World distribution: western North America Sonoran distribution: southern California. Notes: Cladonia verruculosa is generally recognized by its tall, slender podetia, which are in part subulate, in part cup-bearing, and its rough surface due to granulose soredioid structures. This species is very common in Washington down to northern California, and Hammer (1995) reported it down to Santa Cruz Co., but uncertain specimens have been collected further south in California. In Mexico (Michoacán [Ahti 2000]), a very similar species, C. aleuropoda Vain. approaches the Sonoran area. Its cups more regularly produce central proliferations.