Thallus brown to grey, loosely attached to substrate, forming an irregular mat. Lobes disjunct, linear to linear-cuneate, with long and short lateral lobes, tomentose; upper cortex uneven, here and there forming vein-like ridges on lower surface of medulla; under side non-corticate, pale. Soralia mainly apical and subapical, occasionally laminal; soredia granular. Rhizines brown to black, scarcely branched, tomentose. Apothecia and pycnidia unknown. T.L.C.: no lichen substances.
In general habit this species resembles some forms of Anaptychia ciliaris (L.) Korb., especially those growing on exposed rocks. In fact it may be regarded as the sorediate counterpart of that species. The colour is usually a greyish brown, sometimes with a pinkish tinge and tending towards black at times. The tomentum is on nearly all the lobes, giving many of them a hoary appearance. The medulla on the under side varies from white to pale brown, is bounded by thick corticate margins, and is here and there veined by ridges growing down from the under side of the cortex. The soralia sometimes form on the under side of the lobes near their apices and become labriform; on other lobes they appear at the tip or on the upper surface of the apex; yet again they occasionally form further back on the lamina. They are excavate in form but may be filled and overflowing with soredia. These are finely to coarsely granular.
The thickness of the lobes is about 150-300 μm, each lobe showing great variation in different parts. Several layers or zones may be distinguished in the cortex. The outermost consists of a thin irregular layer of colourless hyphae. It overlies a brown pigmented zone, about 5-15 μm thick, of the main cortex. The projecting hyphae forming the tomentum cover the surface both above and below the thallus wherever cortex is present; they are 10-30 μm long, and their walls are irregularly verrucose. The cortex, consisting of densely packed hyphae orientated more or less parallel with the surface, extends round the sides of the lobes to the under side in many places, and where it penetrates the medulla to form ridges on the underside it breaks up the medulla into locules. The algal cells lie in these locules among loosely arranged medullary hyphae. Arachnoid medullary fibres compose most of the under side of the thallus.
Known so far only from the mountains of Ethiopia at altitudes over 3500 m, this species grows over bryophytes, heather stems, mossy rocks, and dead plant remains.