Sphaerophorus globosus (Huds.) Vain.
Thallus shrubby, in small rounded tufts, 2-6 cm diam., more or less erected, made of easily breakable branches, cylindrical, highly ramified in a dichotomous way, apices characterized by small digitated twigs ending bluntly, grey-bluish, pale grey, pale grey-brownish, pale greenish when very moist, but most often pale brown-orangy, brownish notably towards the base, apices lighter and quite paler. Apothecia very rare, limited to small black bulges at the tip of branches, 1-3 mm diam., brown-blackish, blackish at opening (mazedium). Ascospores broadly ellipsoid to globose, 8-12 x 7-11 µm. Photobiont: Cystococcus. Medulla: C-, K+/- weakly yellow, Pd-, I+ blue, UV+ blue-whitish. Rare, mountain dweller, on acid rocks of rocky ridges, most often on the top, or on capes and heads highly exposed amongst mosses and other lichens. N.B. Not to be confused with Bunodophoron melanocarpum that is greener, and has flattened branches towards the base and grows on vertical walls of tall rocks in oceanic woodlands, and is K+ yellow, Pd+ orange and mostly I-. Also, not to be confused with Sphaerophorus fragilis less branchy and also I-, mountain dweller and alpine. N.B. Sphaerophorus globosus is a very variable species according to growing places: as tiny shrubs with long branches very finely branched in relatively sheltered places (as some Cladonia or Usnea species) or else as tiny short cushions formed by short branches slightly divided in places much exposed to marine winds, see: Sphaeophorus globosus forma.