For a detailed description, see Clerc (1991, 2007)
, Purvis et al. (1992)
and Halonen et al. (1998)
(also under the name U. madeirensis
). Thallus 6–12 cm long, shrubby, erect to pendulous, richly branched, branches somewhat interwoven; base thick, extensively blackened, with numerous annular cracks which may occur also in distant parts of the main branches; branches tapering, not constricted at the point of attachment; fibrils present, few to numerous; papillae present, dense on basal parts of main branches; soralia conspicuous, punctate to transversely elliptical to irregularly rounded, remaining discrete; isidiomorphs irregularly present, but usually absent on mature soralia. Cortex very thick (9–14%), mat; medulla very thin (7–12%) and compact.