Wednesday, March 15, 2017

When it's wet ...

... it's very wet. At least here, in our coastal rain forests. And being wet, it's also green, very green.

Lungwort, a large, leafy lichen, grows on trees. And when the rains are heavy and prolonged, it falls off in great chunks. I picked one up beside our trail in Miracle Beach park, vibrantly green, after weeks of soaking.

Lobaria pulmonaria, green
Lungwort, Lobaria pulmonaria, on wet log, moss, and maple leaves.

If you look closely (check the middle lobe on the far right), the reproductive structures, soredia and/or isidia, are visible as small, brownish lumps along the edge and the ridges.

Soredia are powdery propagules composed of fungal hyphae wrapped around cyanobacteria or green algae. (Wikipedia)
An isidium is a vegetative reproductive structure ... They are fragile structures and may break off and be distributed by wind, animals, and splashing raindrops. (Wikipedia)

I flipped the lichen over. The underside was lumpy, almost white, except for the pale brown wool in the valleys.

Lungwort, underside
Lungwort underside. Some of the soredia are visible along the edges.

I don't often see this lichen so brilliantly green. Once the rains stop, it dries to a pale yellowish brown.

Lobaria pulmonaria
Lungwort in dry weather. Taken at Brown's Bay, last February.


  1. I've never seen a lichen even remotely that green!

  2. That should be an easier one for me to identify if I see it. - Margy


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