A conspicuous, richly branched species from the so-called reindeer lichens. It is similar to, e.g., C. mitis but contains perlatolic acid (UV+ white). Its thin terminal branches face all directions, giving it a typical fuzzy appearance. It might possibly be confused with the rare C. stellaris.
Cladonia portentosa grows on more or less acidic, often sandy, soil of heathlands, sandbanks and pine forests. It is a suboceanic lichen, only locally distributed in central Europe. In the Czech Republic, it mainly occurs in western Bohemia and the north-Bohemian sandstone areas, where it is quite abundant in the Kokořín and České Švýcarsko regions. The species has disappeared from many of its historical localities, either because of changes in land use or nutrient enrichment of the substrate.
Literature: Malíček J., Bouda F., Kocourková J., Palice Z. & Peksa O. (2011): Zajímavé nálezy vzácných a přehlížených dutohlávek v České republice. – Bryonora 48: 34–50. Pišút I. (1982): Die Verbreitung der Flechte Cladonia portentosa in der Tschechoslowakei. – Preslia 54: 193–199.taxonomic classification: most frequented synonyms:Cladonia impexa
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