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Lichen: Graphis scripta

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Lichen: Graphis scripta

Until I happened to be looking in my reference book for a lichen I had seen and stumbled across something called Graphis scripta I had always assumed that the black marks one often sees on silver birch bark were just blemishes in the bark itself! How wrong I was. These black marks are, indeed, a lichen that is common on smooth barked trees but it shows up best against the pale coloured silver birch.
 
Common across the country, as well as Dorset, it has a close cousin, Graphis elegans, and they are very hard to tell apart but I believe this to be scripta but if you know I am wrong please let me know! This is what is known as a crustose (ie: crusty) lichen and it gets its name 'graphis' or graphic and 'scripta' script; from the shape it forms that looks like ancient writing or script.  

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 3 months ago

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