A conspicuous, easily recognized, fruticose to pendent Usnea species. In Europe, it might be up to 30–40 cm long, elsewhere even up to 70 cm. Its thallus is rigid, only barely flexible, the surface is glossy, the cortex is hard and the thallus base is not blackened, contrary to most of the other large Usnea species. The main branches usually have circular cracks, exposing the compact pale medulla. Its inner part (axis) is often pinkish or yellowish, but may be without pigmentation as well. It is characterized by the presence of diffractaic acid in the medulla (C+ yellow and subsequent K+ yellow-orange).
Usnea ceratina is a sub-cosmopolitan species, known from all the continents except Antarctica. In Europe, it has an oceanic, temperate to boreal-montane distribution, but can also be found in the mountains of the Mediterranean. The species usually grows on tree branches in humid forests with frequent fogs. In central Europe, it occurs only in the Alps. In the past, it was published from various localities in the Czech Republic, but the records require a revision of the herbarium material. Currently, it is considered extinct here.
Literature: Herrera-Campos M. A., Clerc P., Nash T. H. III (1998): Pendulous species of Usnea from temperate forests in Mexico. – Bryologist 101: 303–329. Clerc P. (2011): Usnea. – In: Thell A. & Moberg R. [eds], Nordic Lichen Flora. Volume 4: Parmeliaceae. Uppsala: Nordic Lichen Society, Uppsala University, pp. 107–127 & 141.taxonomic classification:
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