Lichen Vocabulary

You folks down south (by which I mean in Ohio) may be posting photos of your crocuses in bloom, but here it still looks like this.

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I was looking for something to photograph, and the lichens on the tree trunks caught my eye, as they often do.

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009 (768x1024)There are three main types of lichens: crustose (crusty), foliose (leafy), and fructicose (shrubby). The ones in these photos all fall into the middle, leafy category. An example of a fructicose one would be reindeer lichen.

5 thoughts on “Lichen Vocabulary”

  1. Rebecca,
    Do you know the names of the lichens in your pictures? I am always trying to identify more of them, but it’s a little difficult.

    1. I don’t – my lichen knowledge really stops with the crustose/foliose/fructicose thing. I was going to try to look them up but both the library copies of Lichens of the North Woods were checked out.

  2. Have you ever looked for tardigrades – water bears – in lichen? It was a very fun project I did with students in Alaska. I have been meaning to look for them here in Montana but just haven’t gotten around to it. Instructions are easy to find on the web.

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