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A similar-looking species also known by the common name Reindeer lichen is Cladonia rangiferina.
C. portentosa forms compact interwoven mats up to 6cm tall. It is richly branched, each branch usually dividing into three but with the penultimate sometimes dividing into two. The branching is at a larger angle than that of Cladonia rangiferina. 
Gilbert, O. 2004.
- Dobson, Frank S., Lichens: An Illustrated Guide to the British and Irish Species, Richmond Publishing, Slough, 5th edn 2005.
- Gilbert, O. 2007. Lichens Scottish Natural Heritage ISBN 1-85397-373-4
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