Thursday, May 01, 2008

35,000 records. Of Lichen.

I spent the evening tonight leafing through plant and lichen books, browsing Google photos, going through alphabetical lists of lichen from A to Z. (E-Flora BC tells me that the UBC Herbarium Lichen Database has 35,000 records. I'm probably fortunate that their page wouldn't load.)

And I am no further ahead than when I started.

I saw this leaf lichen this afternoon. Pretty, I thought, and snapped the photo.

Greyish white, lobed, loosely attached. So far, so good. I see lichen like this in every clump of trees.

But I haven't been looking closely enough. This afternoon, sorting my photos, I noticed the underside of the lobes. They are covered in little dark brown teeth or spines.

Enlarged photo; you can see the jagged underside. Click on the photo to get a better view.

So I've been searching. I don't know what this is. It could be some type of Nephroma; at least that is the closest I could find. But nothing quite matches.

And I never imagined there were so very many species of lichen.


  1. Yikes,! 35,000! no wonder I can never identify what I find. I'm at the point where i'm settling for families of lichens. I think yours is in the parchment lichen family.

    Carolyn H.

  2. Weeta thanks so much for these beautiful pictures...and the post...I am fascinated with lichens and I need to get a book on them...I love this post...our whole rainforest is so full of lichens and mosses...I know nothing about them, and yet I live right among them...hmmmmm.


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