pf339's picture

Lichen with pink apothecia

Observed: 7th February 2013 By: pf339
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
pf339’s reputation in Fungi and Lichenspf339’s reputation in Fungi and Lichenspf339’s reputation in Fungi and Lichenspf339’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens
Lichen with pink apothecia i
Lichen with pink apothecia ii
Lichen with pink apothecia iii
White thallus 'grape' apothecia i
White thallus 'grape' apothecia ii

White leprose-like thallus growing near the bottom of vertical face of a siliceous sandstone window sill on north wall of church (lichen just above top of mortar in picture ii). Pink convex apothecia. Resolution in pictures (i) and (iii) just about shows complex structure of some of the apothecia. One area along window sill (picture i and just right of centre in picture ii) has light pink apothecia. Another area has darker, almost purple, apothecia that appear older (picture iii and left of centre in picture ii). Possibly Psilolechia leprosa.


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Species interactions

No interactions present.


AlanS's picture

I am really pleased with this

Not only good photographs of this species, but also a good locality to go and see it. Although it is widespread in England, I have so far failed to find it on my trips south and this has been bugging me.


(typo edited 7.12.2012)

AlanS's picture

Unfortunately ..

I did make a quick visit yesterday. Stupidly found I wasn't carrying my lens when I got to it, but I did have chemicals. Apparently it is C- and K+ red, and the thallus was very thin. I need to consider it further, but I do not now believe it is P. leprosa. Sorry.


pf339's picture

Identitying lichens

Thanks once more for help with identifying lichens. Also information details you pass on in comments about lichens posted by different people on iSpot are really helpful. Much appreciated.

pf339's picture

Curiouser and ...

Many thanks for the information. Now intrigued, of course, wondering what it may be.

AlanS's picture

Maybe ...

I have a hypothesis, but it needs to be checked.

As I said, I forgot my lens. After a longer drive than I expected I arrived at the village quite late, with light beginning to fade, had to park quite some way off, selected the camera I was going to use, set off for the church, found the correct church window, and then found I had no lens of any sort in my jacket pocket. It suddenly became much darker, I was being buffeted by the wind, spots of rain were coming down, and I could scarcely see the lichen! I did get a number of photographs, though I doubt that any of the natural light ones worked. I think some extreme close-ups with flash will be OK, but I have not checked them yet.

Anyhow, the thallus looked wrong for P. leprosa and the chemical tests were wrong. The K reaction was quite slow but did become deep red.

Had I been parked by the church I would have gone back to the car and fetched an illuminating lens of course, but I thought I would best get photos first. A correct decision, as my return to the car coincided with the rain really beginning to come down.

So I know I visited a very nice church, with what looked like several Caloplaca species lurking in the semi-darkness. But as I was driving from Kew to Glasgow, it was quite a diversion and a wasted opportunity. But another time ...

I took a few apothecia, but left the major part of the colony undamaged. I shall look at the spores, which I suspect will be very different from those of any Psilolechia, but I have exam papers to mark first.

Anyhow, thanks for drawing my attention to a site well worth further examination. I shall have to check if the Cambridgeshire lichen group have any data.


pf339's picture

More sites

Now seen more of this white thallus with pink-purple 'bunch of grapes'-like apothecia on mortar and limestone of north walls (and not near windows and metal grilles) of nearby Papworth St Agnes church and Offord D'Arcy church.
Added 4th image above from Papworth St Agnes church growing on mortar (and also growing on limestone there). Added 5th image above from Offord D'Arcy church growing on limestone.