miked's picture

_MG_1237 cladonia

Observed: 18th September 2011 By: miked
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Fungi and Lichens expert

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Species interactions

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AlanS's picture


As may be obvious from my IDs, I am keen on Cladonia. I have quite a number of them on my website, and more to add, but this one has me puzzled.

My best guess at the moment is C. ramulosa, a seriously variable species, but I shall have to think about it.

Anyone else with ideas? It has brown pycnidia and presumably is a brown-fruited species, so the hideously variable C. polyphylla and its allies can be ruled out.


miked's picture

There was quite a lot of this

There was quite a lot of this in one small area of the site and they all looked like this.

Brian Cambridgeshire's picture

Very odd!

If it were red-fruited, C. polydactyla (is polyphylla a name change?) would make sense. I'd have thought it was too powdery-sorediate for ramulosa, which I expect to have corticate granules or flatter tile-like granules, more like diversa. It doesn't look like a shade form of chlorophaea, and I've never seen subulata/glauca branch and form cups anything like as much.
How about very well-grown potedia on a species which is usually dominated by its squamules?

AlanS's picture

Yes, I should not post when tired.

I intended to come back to this, and:

a) yes, of course it's not C. ramulosa, too powdery-sorediate as you say. Was a stupid suggestion that I'm surprised I made.

b) yup, "polyphylla" was a typo.

I thought about C. squamosa, which is horribly variable, but I dont think this fits.

Looking at this again, I would say C. chlorophaea agg. is most likely, but not C. chlorophaea itself, or C. grayi. Possibly C. merochlorophaea? If Mike doesn't mind I shall try to visit the site when I am next in that area and collect some material for testing. Whatever it is, it's interesting.


miked's picture

You'd be welcome to, the

You'd be welcome to, the location is pretty accurate by gps and its now publicly accessible. However whether the site exists at all now is another matter as the country park seem to be getting rid of much of this type of habitat even though I have mentioned to them more than once that the lichen heath is valuable.

Brian Cambridgeshire's picture

Cladonia chlorophaea agg

Thanks, Alan, that's fascinating - I don't yet know the other species in the aggregate apart from having found what I think is probably C. grayi a couple of times (it certainly fluoresces strongly). Is there any reliable literature on the morphology and basic chemistry of the group, or are we still waiting for a clear account?

AlanS's picture


There is a substantial body of literature, both European and American, on this group, but no clear, simple accounts that I am aware of. Various useful snippets here and there, sometimes contradictory, but I am still trying to assimilate clearer ideas from quite a pile of photocopies.

At present I think Peter James' account in 'The Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland' at least sets out the taxa in a clear way, even though there is little morphological information.