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center of Seattle - seems like interesting place to encounter something like Flavopunctelia soredica

  • 28 Mar 2018 6:46 PM
    Message # 6005248

    Attaching photos of a lichen found on a street tree about a mile east of downtown Seattle (corner of arterials 15th Ave. east and east John St.) (Collected a tiny specimen - cortex K+yellow, medulla C+red.) Think its Flavopunctelia soredica. (Don’t know if that is nitrophilious. It is considered sensitive to acidic air pollution.) (Also attach photo of more typical Seattle street tree with Physcia adscendens or tenella? and Candelaria pacifica.) Only one F. soredica specimen from WA on CNALH map, collected on in 1908. (F. flaventior not uncommon up near the San Juan Islands.) Just seems odd.

  • 31 Mar 2018 8:18 AM
    Reply # 6009215 on 6005248
    Bruce McCune (Administrator)

    I don't see an usnic acid tint to the photos, so I suspect that this is Punctelia rather than Flavopunctelia. For reasons we don't understand our Punctelia seems to be associated with urban/suburban areas, occasionally in agricultural or foothill areas. What to call the local urban/suburban species is still a matter of some debate, but it can be called P. subrudecta s.l. or one of the more specific names proposed for it.

  • 04 Apr 2018 4:09 PM
    Reply # 6016976 on 6005248

    Thanks Bruce. I see you are correct.

    CNALH map and specimen information (don’t know how complete or useful this is) indicate small clustering of P. subrudecta s.l. (as P. jeckeri) around the “Salish Sea”. P. stictica seems concentrated there as well. Probably that area attracts lichenologists more than further south in WA.

    p.s. there is a nice recent photo of blutah at

  • 19 Apr 2018 11:30 AM
    Reply # 6111254 on 6005248

    Hi Richard & others-

    Yes, interesting observations. Here in Eugene, OR I've only seen Punctilia subrudecta s.l. once. It was in a pocket of mature seral PSME within city limits.

    Similarly I've been running into Flavopunctelia flaventior in the Willamette Valley. Once on a mature birch outside the Salem BLM office and twice within Eugene. Uploaded photos include a habitat shot outside Roosevelt Middle School.

    It did not escape my notice that these landscaped situations that they are growing in are subjected to exceptional spore dispersal mechanisms such as lawnmowers, weed eaters, and leaf blowers.

    2 files
  • 19 Apr 2018 1:19 PM
    Reply # 6111458 on 6005248

    Ahem, soredia dispersal, not spore dispersal.

    Could landscapers or tree stock from CA be spreading this species northwards?

  • 23 Mar 2019 6:08 PM
    Reply # 7241612 on 6005248

    Happened by (my doctor located nearby) Punctelia subrudecta almost exactly one year later - posted comparison photo.

    will add more information (have to go)

    responding to Dave - (not disagreeing) what 1st came to mind for my posted lichens is possible influence of pollution (on busy arterial streets) possibly causing soredia increase (seem to see that on other species in the city, e.g. Evernia prunastri, Platismatia glauca)

    Looked around for more P. subrudecta - doesn't seem to be reproducing nearby. However, the Physconia is on many nearby trees, and noticed some on trees on walk into center of downtown.

    Last modified: 24 Mar 2019 3:02 PM | Richard Droker
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