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Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Closer Look- Three Lichen

While I was hiking yesterday, I got some macro pictures of different lichens. You might remember I bragged a while ago that I now had books, and was going to try to start identifying some of them. Ha! One needs a couple of kinds of testing chemicals, and a lot more observation time than I have previously devoted to the lowly lichen.

But, I'll tentatively identify these... at least into general groups. In all three cases, one has to look closely. A casual glance at the scruffy green stuff on a log isn't going to tell you enough to get beyond "lichen."

At first pass, this looks like quite a collection of various things: moss, possibly two lichens, a pine needle, a dried bit of grass. But, I think the lichen is all one kind, possibly candlestick lichen, Cladonia coniocraea. The gray-green flabby parts are called squamules, and the stalks are podetia.

candlestick lichen

Next is common antler lichen, Pseudevernia consocians, I think. The fun thing about this picture is the little cups at the ends of some of the stalks. Those are apothecia, where the spores are produced.

antler lichen

I like this picture. Very much unsure of the identification. I'm pretty sure it's not Pixie Cups, because the cups are narrow and irregular. I've showed you pixie cups before. There are several lichens with this general form. At this point my best guess is narrow crown lichen, Cladonia rei.

narrow crowned lichen

If I'm really going to do this, I need to be taking tons of pictures, so I can start with the kindergarten skill of same or different. Seriously... I have to be able to tell which little "trumpets" might just be dirty or damaged pixies, or which might be the golf tees, or the wacky deformed ones, or which are just dirty and which have soredia.... And that's just the Cladonia.

Found out there are at least three kinds of reindeer lichen. So, I need to get more specific on that. Wow.

Nice warm day today. Took my road walk early because the sky seemed to be graying. Good timing. It started to rain just after I got home!

See A Pixie Hiding in My Grass
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The Furry Gnome said...

Or you can just pretend you're an expert, and no-one will know the difference! There certainly aren't many botanists who can identify them. And you can fool me any time.

Ratty said...

Your pictures just revealed to me that I've seen lichens before myself. Before I thought I never did. I remember several years ago I took pictures of these strange looking small plants. Now I guess I have some idea what they were.

Secondary Roads said...

Had a neighbor at MSU who was studying lichens for a PHd in botany. That about sums my knowledge of lichens. Oh, love you pix.

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