Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2002. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 1.
Primary thallus: squamulose, persistent; squamules: up to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide, crenulate to crenate-lobate, esorediate, yellowish brown at base podetia: 15-40 mm tall and up to 4 mm wide, yellowish green to gray, dying base orange brown, cup-bearing; cups: 2-4 mm wide, rarely flaring; margin: entire or regularly dentate, sometimes with proliferations surface: with a persistent cortex a quarter to half the length of the podetium, longitudinally rugose to chinky-areolate; cortex: intermixed with soredia and upper 1/3 to 2/3 of podetium totally covered by soredia; soredia: farinose Apothecia: infrequent, up to 5 mm diam, red ascospores: fusiform, 8-10 x 2.5-3.5 micro meter Pycnidia: scarce, at cup margins, ovoid, with red gelatin conidia: 8-11 x 1 micro meter Spot tests: K-, C-, KC+ yellow, P-, UV- Secondary metabolites: thallus with usnic acid, isousnic acid and zeorin (visible as needle crystals on old herbarium specimens); apothecial discs with rhodocladonic acid as a red pigment. Habitat and ecology: on humus or rotting wood World distribution: Antarctica, Australasia, Europe, North America and southern South America Sonoran distribution: upper elevations of eastern Arizona (Apache Co.). Notes: See discussion under the more frequent Cladonia sulphurina, which can be very similar to C. deformis.