Crustose Lichens

Crustose lichens adhere tightly to their substrate. They cannot be removed without damaging the underlying material.

A white lichen with circular tan spots.
Ochrolechia laevigata lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

The Ochrolechias ("saucer lichens") are crustose species, frequently displaying raised apothecia with lighter colored rims. Chemical testing may be necessary to distinguish them from a similar genus, Lecanora.

A dark green lichen coats a log with nodules of pink.
Icmadophila ericetorum lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

Icmadophila ericetorum goes by the common name of "fairy barf." Its thallus is green, and its apothecia are pinkish.

A bright orange circular patch of lichen on a rock.
Rusavskia elegans lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

Rusavskia elegans ("sunburst lichen") was formerly classified as a Xanthoria. Recent DNA testing showed that it deserved a genus of its own.

A bright green lichen with black spots attached to a rock.
An example of a Rhizocarpon lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

The genus Rhizocarpon ("map lichens") is quite diverse. These crustose lichens occur on rock and are commonly seen in the sub-alpine/alpine zones of the park.

A green-grey patch of lichen with brown spots on a rock.
Placopsis gelida lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

Placopsis ("bull's-eye lichen") exhibits a preference for basaltic/andesitic rock. It displays large pinkish-brown apothecia.

Squiggly black lines in grey bark.
Graphis scripta lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

Graphis scripta ("script lichen") is elusive because it is so small. The fine black lirellae (specialized apothecia) are never more than 7 mm long. It occurs most commonly on Red Alder in the park.

A golden dust-like lichen covering a tree trunk.
Chrysothrix candelaris lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

The fine crust of Chrysothrix candelaris ("gold-dust lichen") can be found on many species of tree, notably Douglas-fir.

Small mushrooms grow out of a green crust on a log.
Lichenomphalia umbellifera lichen.

NPS/C. Vecchio Photo

Unusual in that it exhibits a mushroom (basidiomycete) as its fruiting body, Lichenomphalia umbellifera's thallus consists of a fine pea-green granules and/or pale green squamules (scales).

Last updated: January 31, 2020

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