Thallus forming erect tufts up to 10 cm diameter; variable in color from cream in shady habitats to copper-brown in exposed habitats. Main stem with shallow surface depressions and very few branchlets. Stems often ending with globe-like apothecia that are slit open to reveal sooty black spores. In forested habitats on bark and wood. Four species of Sphaerophorus occur in this region.