Ginny B's picture

Cladonia portentosa

Observed: 20th June 2012 By: Ginny B
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
Ginny B’s reputation in Fungi and LichensGinny B’s reputation in Fungi and LichensGinny B’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens
Cladonia portentosa
Cladonia portentosa

Dense and bush-like with lots of very fine branches that on close inspection were seen to be brown tipped. On the day of the photo, a dry sunny day, the podetia were very white, but on a damp day they were a pale grey-green. There was only one on this west-facing bank at the edge of a fir wood. I believe this may be reindeer lichen, possibly Cladonia portensia, because of its very upright growth.


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.


jw33's picture


Hi Ginny, I'm only a beginner and not qualified to confirm - but what a lovely specimen! I want to see one of these now.
Good luck with lichen, Jacky

Ginny B's picture

Thanks Jacky

Thanks Jacky.

I was very surprised to find this here as I always associated it with higher ground.


AlanS's picture


Cladonia portentosa is a common species of lowland heath, at least in the north and west.

Ginny, have you discovered the delights of Findhorn and Culbin yet? Acid dune systems that are wonderful for Cladonia and other ground lichens, including a profusion of reindeer lichens, that unfortunately need chemical testing to sort out - portentosa, mitis, two subspecies of arbuscula and two varieties of ciliata, rangiferina (also rangiformis that isn't a reindeer lichen but looks like one), all in mixed populations (see my website for pics). At Culbin they form continuous carpets under the pines.

Findhorn has several rare lichen species, in some cases on single pebbles, so be careful about any collecting. Peltigera malacea, a beautiful and generally rare, dark green dog lichen, is frequent there, where there is shelter from bushes.


jhn7's picture


I was in Nairn a couple of years ago, how I wish I had known!
A lovely sample.

Certificate in Contemporary Science (Open)

Ginny B's picture

Thanks to your website, Alan

It was your website pics and descriptions that helped me most to sort out what this particular lichen was. Thank you Alan.

I've walked around both Findhorn and Culbin areas in the past, but that was before I had begun to 'see' lichen. Sounds like another visit will have to be made. For the moment however, I will make do with discovering what else is around my little area of exploration. Once I have learnt to identify these ones properly, then I will move on to look round both those areas. Thanks for the tip.