Northwest Lichenologists

ID Help?

  • 19 Sep 2023 11:05 AM
    Message # 13256454

    I walk around Portland constantly looking at lichens and I've never seen this one before. I'm struggling with an ID, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Found on the bark of a deciduous tree (American Elm?) in the middle of Southeast Portland, OR. The color is more green, and less pale/yellow than it looks in these photos. Definitely has a holdfast. About 10-12 mm in diameter. K-. 

    Edited to add: the medulla is white, and the cross section of one of the branches is kind of slightly flattened. 

    This is my first post to the forum. Hi fellow lichen-obsessed humans!

    5 files
    Last modified: 21 Sep 2023 8:10 PM | Bethany Venooker
  • 20 Sep 2023 10:13 PM
    Reply # 13257279 on 13256454

    If you have the sample, pull a branch apart and see if it has a central white cord. If so it’s an Usnea.

  • 21 Sep 2023 8:21 PM
    Reply # 13257779 on 13256454

    There isn't a central cord, it's more bushy. Although the inside of the branches and holdfast are white. I just uploaded a few more photos.

    When I first saw it I thought it might be Letharia because of the color and structure. But the location and substrate don't match. 

  • 22 Sep 2023 7:27 AM
    Reply # 13257917 on 13256454
    Bruce McCune (Administrator)

    I think Evernia prunastri is a good guess, but it actually looks more like Evernia mesomorpha. That would be a very unusual find for Portland, so I'm doubtful about that, while Evernia prunastri is common. Evernia prunastri should have a subtle color difference between the upper and lower surfaces, slightly whiter below. Evernia mesomorpha has no differentiated upper/lower surfaces.

  • 22 Sep 2023 7:55 AM
    Reply # 13257932 on 13256454

    It doesn't have differentiated upper and lower surfaces and the branching is three dimensional.

    I've personally never seen a sample like this in Portland, and I walk a few hours everyday, always on the lookout for lichens. I haven't seen a new-to-me lichen in Portland for a long time. 

    I'll look into mesomorpha, thank you.

  • 22 Sep 2023 10:38 AM
    Reply # 13257996 on 13256454

    I suspect Letharia vulpina. It si sometimes a bit pale like this. The branching looks correct - sort of random.

  • 25 Sep 2023 8:20 AM
    Reply # 13258750 on 13256454

    I thought it was Letharia too, at first! I just collected my first Letharia samples from Wallowa lake, so I've got them on my mind.

© Northwest Lichenologists

NWL Privacy Policy

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software