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Compact (1-3cm high), shrubby-tufted lichen with round, glossy, brown-spiny branches. When dry, it forms tight cushions of spiky tufts. Often present on the wood of old fallen de-barked trees, windthrown branches and broken tree limbs that have been left to age and recolonise undisturbed. It is also occasionally found on warm moorland slopes. Much confused with Cetraria aculeata from which it differs in its smaller overall size (best understood when seen growing together), rather fragile rounded, spiny branches and habitat. Throughout Ireland.
Original text submitted by Vince J. Giavarini