Nash, T.H., Ryan, B.D., Gries, C., Bungartz, F., (eds.) 2002. Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region. Vol 1.
Primary thallus: squamulose, usually disappearing; squamules: up to 4 mm long and 3 mm wide, irregularly lobate to crenate-lobate podetia: (8-) 15-80 (-95) mm tall, 0.5-5 mm wide, pale or bluish gray to dark brown, subulate, without cups or, occasionally, forming cup-like axils, dichotomously branched; branches: with longitudinal fissures; axils: open or closed surface: smoothly corticated; cortex: chinky, areolate; squamules: present or absent, up to 3 mm long, esorediate Apothecia: frequent, brown, up to 1.5 mm diam, subglobose, usually clustered at tips of branches ascospores: fusiform to oblong, 5-15 x 3-5 micro meter Pycnidia: common, at tips of podetia, urn-like, constricted at base, with hyaline gelatin conidia: 3-8 x 0.5-1 micro meter Spot tests: K- or K+ dingy yellow to dingy brown, C-, KC-, P+ red (test medulla!), UV- Secondary metabolites: fumarprotocetraric acid (in other areas, like in the eastern United States and Hidalgo, Mexico, atranorin may additionally be locally frequent). Habitat and ecology: on soil or among mosses, or rarely on rotting wood, mainly temperate World distribution: all continents except Antarctica Sonoran distribution: eastern Arizona (high elevation) and Baja California (coastal). Notes: Cladonia furcata in western North America is generally comparable to, but does not exactly match specimens from Europe, eastern North America or South America. Although it is quite variable in the region, specimens of C. furcata here more closely resemble specimens from New Zealand (Hammer, pers. obs.). Cladonia furcata is distinguished by branched, brownish to bluish gray, corticate podetia. The morphologically similar C. scabriuscula resembles C. furcata, but the apices of C. scabriuscula are granulose and microsquamulose and even slightly sorediate.