Lichen: Cladonia fimbriata

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Lichen: Cladonia fimbriata

These golf tee shaped fruiting bodies are indicative of the Cladonia family of lichens; they are collectively included in the fruiticose forms of lichen and Cladonia is derived from the Greek for a 'twig'. Various species can be found on Dorset heathland and in woodland. Cladonia fimbriata favours rotting tree stumps and bare earth where the crusty foundation of the lichen covers the surface and the 'pegs' shoot up from that.

On Cladonia fimbriata the stem of the peg is very slender before opening out into the cup. It has a very close relative, Cladonia chlorophaea, which has a much more cone like shape. Fimbriata favours sandy soils whereas chlorophaea favours peaty soils.

Quite common yet usually passed by without a second look which is a shame as closer inspection shows them to be fascinating.


 

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This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 3 years 2 days ago

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