Primary thallus evanescent in an early stage. Pseudopodetia compactly caespitose, decumbent, obviously dorsiventral, cylindrical, 2-4 cm long, ca.1 mm thick, moderately branched, main stems inconspicuous, completely decorticated, glabrous, slightly rust red, or slightly tomentose, pale, whitish, ligneous, without soredia; phyllocladia numerous, grain-like to coralloid or cylindrical, occasionally squamulose with dentate lobules on the margin, pale green in color, 0.3-2 mm long, 0.1-0.2 mm thick, ramulose, obviously dorsiventral, firmly attached to the substrate. Cephalodia rare, sessile, subglobose to verrucose, not over 1 mm in diameter, concolorous with the pseudopodetia or phyllocladia, poorly corticate, containing Nostoc sp. Apothecia terminal, lecidein, 1-4 mm in diameter, slightly convex, rufous; hymenium ca. 62 mm tall, both hypothecium and central cone colorless; asci 41-50 μm × 12-15 μm; spores clavate, colorless, 3-septate, 21-28 μm × 3.5-4.5 μm.
CHEMISTRY: K+ yellow, P+ pale yellow; TLC: atranorin and lobaric acid.
REMARKS:St. sterile somewhat resembles St. exutum, but can immediately be distinguished by inconspicuous, verrucose cephalodia and grain-like phyllocladia.