fruticose, erect, branching, fragile, shining, dark-red-brown to blackish brown, 5-8 cm tall, the main axes to 2 mm, the branches dichotomous, with raised white pseudocyphellae; interior with fairly dense cottony hyphae. Apothecia
rare; lateral and making the tips geniculate, adnate with margin concolorous with the thallus, crenulate to toothed; disk to 10 mm broad, chestnut brown, smooth, shining; epithecium
brownish, hymenium hyaline, 45-50 μ asci saccate; paraphyses
slender, the tips not much thickened; spores
8, simple, ellipsoid, hyaline, 7-8 x 3.5-4 μ.
Reactions: K— , C+ red, KC+ red, P- .
Contents: olivetoric acid.
This species grows on soil, on humus, forming large mats in heath tundras, occasionally on the lower branches of trees at the tundra border. It is usually much intermixed with Bryoria nitidula. It is circumpolar arctic alpine and is also in South America. Its North American range is south to Newfoundland in the east, to British Columbia in the west.