lpearce's picture

Physcia aipolia

Observed: 7th November 2009 By: lpearcelpearce’s reputation in Fungi and Lichenslpearce’s reputation in Fungi and Lichenslpearce’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

Growing on a Scotch Pine in our garden


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


gardener's picture

Hi Les, Did you check the

Hi Les,
Did you check the possibility of it being Physcia aipolia?

lpearce's picture


I have looked at endless photo's on various sites among other, Alan Silverside's Lichen Pages
Looking at that I was not sure about Physcia aipolia because it looks as though it has leaf structures all over the surface - see http://www.lichens.lastdragon.org/Physcia_aipolia.html
Where as my one seems to have a generally fused structure with leaf structures only at the edge, it also says 'Lobe surfaces with distinct white flecks.
I cannot see white flecks.
Am I interpreting my photo incorrectly?
Jenny an UPDATE:
I have spent this afternoon reassessing my identification and now am unsure that it is Phaeophyscia orbicularis.
I have look in our garden at a sycamore next to the fir tree I took the original photo and added this to iSpot
This lichen is clearly not fused and has a lobe surfaces with white flecks,and does seem to look like the photo's on Alan' site, so I would think this is likely to be Physcia aipolia?

Is it maybe I am seeing too much into the surface of the first photo and it not fused just very crowded? Although I still cannot see white flecks on the surface. So still not sure if this is P. aipolia?

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

gardener's picture

Hi Les, It is Physcia

Hi Les,
It is Physcia aipolia, but part of the difficulty is knowing what to look for. If you enlarge your first photo to full size and then look at the lobe at the left side of the thallus you can just make out faint whitish marks.
The amount varies, in your photo's its just visible as a faint white speckling, but in these photos, link below, it is much more obvious:


Physcia aipolia is usually very fertile but without soredia (powdery granules). Phaeophyscia orbicularis is sorediate, rarely fertile but can be confused with Physcia caesia.

Now for some technical bits:
The whitish marks are known as pseudocyphella(ae): 'a pale mark, dot or line where the cortex is thin or absent'.

Cyphella(ae) are 'regular, marginated perforations through the lower cortex'.

Cortex: outer layers of the lichen body (thallus)

Reticulate: Net-like pattern - in your lowest photo there is Physcia aipolia on the left and Parmelia sulcata at the right, the Parmelia has lobes with white reticulation.
(Parmelia sulcata is also in Alan Silversides photo with Physcia aipolia)