Cladonia ciliata Stirton forma ciliata
Cladonia leucophaea Abbayes
Cladonia ciliata var. tenuis ss. auct. brit.
Cladina ciliata (Stirt.) Trass
Cladonia tenuis var. leucophaea (Abbayes) Ahti
Primary thallus crustose in appearance, granular and inconspicuous, disappearing very quickly. Spindly podetions in small bushes up to 10 cm high and sometimes gathered in cushions, strongly branched by slender twigs 1-2 mm in diameter, surface without cortex, a little greenish marbled in very humid weather; twigs unequal in length and diameter are mostly dichotomously divided without perforation at the junction, the terminals are thinner and sometimes oriented and curved in the same direction, greenish-gray, ash-gray but bluish-gray towards the ends and finally sometimes brownish to purple at the tip, the whole turning brown, sometimes strongly, in a sunny situation. Apothecia at the end of the twigs, small, brown, very rare. Photobiont: trebouxioid. C-, K-, KC-, P + red. Species coming to the sunny heahlands at the edge of the sea where the dark coloring of the tufts in small bushes distinguishes it from other neighboring species.
N.B. This species is very differently interpreted by the authors, there seem to exist intermediaries between the varieties and the forms which have been described in particular with the form more pale yellow and less browning at the tip of the branches, KC + yellow: Cladonia ciliata forma flavicans.
Very easy to confuse with Cladonia arbuscula which has the branches pointing in the same direction (and not only the ends) and Cladonia portentosa forma condensata which has pale yellow coloring but is P-, in the dunes Cladonia rangiformis has scales at the base and is K + yellow, but there are embarrassing intermediaries between all these species ...