pf339's picture

Branched lichen

Observed: 27th July 2013 By: pf339
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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Branched lichen i
Branched lichen ii

Fruticose lichen growing on north side of a low, about 50cm high, siliceous boulder amongst gorse on Dartmoor. Main branches of the overall bushy growth of the lichen are round with variegated chestnut colouring. Smaller branching structures sprout out along and at the end of these main branches. The tips of these sprouting branches are paler often appearing whitish. Possibly Sphaerophorus globosus.


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

Species interactions

No interactions present.


pf339's picture


Thanks for continuing help with identifications. Much appreciated.

AlanS's picture

Always a pleasure

First it's easy to "help" with identification as you pretty well always put up the correct name in the first place.

Second you post photographs that show the features, rather than an out-of-focus blur taken from several feet away and apparently from a moving car.

Thirdly, you habitually post something more interesting than Xanthoria parietina.

I note that the material here has this orange staining, even on the small branches, that often seems to affect lichens on acid rocks. I don't know the cause is. Iron staining from the rock minerals? Flushing from peaty water during heavy rain and subsequent oxidation? Affected lichens never look very healthy and all lichens in a given small area may be affected.

My only photographs of the neater, upland relative of S. globosus, i.e. S. fragilis, have this staining, which has inhibited me, so far, from putting them on my website.