Thallus yellow-green to grey-green, erect and bushy but when large (up to 10 cm) may also hang downwards. The holdfast is blackened with transverse cracking. The surface has rounded patches of soredia and short, straight isidia. Rarely fertile but apothecia are rounded and flat with ray like branchlets.
Chemistry: Medulla K+ yellow, Pd+ yellow-orange, UV- or all negative but UV+ white.
Similar species: Can be distinguished from Usnea wasmuthii by its raised soralia with isidia present. Well developed soralia on U. wasmuthii are oval and flat and without isidia.
See also Fungi of Great Britain and Ireland
On trees (usually twigs), fences and more rarely on rock.