mbf45's picture

Fruticose lichen

Observed: 22nd February 2011 By: mbf45mbf45’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

A fruticose lichen. I think that it may be an Usnea sp. can anyone confirm or suggest an alternative?


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

Either Usnea cornuta or U.

Either Usnea cornuta or U. subfloridana - for Usnea identification the first step is to check the colour of the base of the stems at the junction with the branch.
Usnea cornuta has an un-blackened base, U. subfloridana is blackened.

AlanS's picture

I pretty much agree with Jenny

However the thallus looks immature and I can think of a couple of other possibilities - there are several Usnea species that are quite common in Cornwall. Close examination of the details of both the base and finer branches is essential in naming the species of this difficult genus, and the characters of the branches may be misleadingly or not properly developed in young specimens.

Note also that many (most?) digital cameras do not capture the correct colour in Usnea (the sensors are insensitive to the precise colour of usnic acid) and consequently photographs are too grey.


mbf45's picture


Thanks for your comments I will try to get a better look next time I see one.