Northwest Lichenologists

Epiphytic Shrub Steppe Lichen?

  • 30 Mar 2021 2:50 PM
    Message # 10254132

    Hi all,

       I photographed this plant-like object in some Tall Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in Frenchman Coulee across the Columbia from Vantage, WA.

    At the time, I thought it might be some type of parasitic plant, but now I'm wondering whether it is a lichen instead. Many, but not all of the Sagebrush in this area had similar growths on them. I haven't seen this on Sagebrush on the west side of the Columbia near this location. The associated photo of the pom-pom looking growths may not be related, but they were on an adjacent twig, so I took photos of them as well. Any thoughts on whether the green bundle could be a lichen?



  • 31 Mar 2021 7:13 AM
    Reply # 10256431 on 10254132

    Not lichens, these are galls, likely caused by midges. I don’t know enough about them to say if they’re two stages of the same type of gall, or galls created by two different species, but if you do a search for “Artemisia tridentata” and “gall” you’ll likely find some answers.

  • 31 Mar 2021 7:54 AM
    Reply # 10256541 on 10254132

    Thanks! It looks like it's a gall from Rhopalomyia medusa.



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