Tuesday, February 09, 2010

What Are Lichens?

© 2008 Teresa Watkins

Lichens on young oak tree in Sawgrass Island Preserve.

Lichens are symbiotic organisms consisting of fungus, algae, and sometimes bacteria. They make their own food and can be indicators of good air quality and high water levels in a flood zone. They can grow on trees, shrubs, rocks, and in hot or cold climates. Lichens were used to create purple dyes for the robes of the wealthy and rulers in Roman times.

More about lichens here, here, and here. You can see a multitude of lichen photography here.

I love to hike through forests and photograph lichens, mushrooms, and moss but you can also see lichens on tombstones and on buildings. Churchyard Lichens

There are societies and groups of scientists and biologists that study lichens all over the world. The Lichens of North America have lichens you will see in the United States and Canada.

Lichen puzzles? Have some fun-gi!

Click to Mix and Solve

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