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  • Found this very inspiring and whimsical specimen I don’t recall seeing before.

Found this very inspiring and whimsical specimen I don’t recall seeing before.

  • 16 Feb 2020 11:24 PM
    Message # 8751398

     Found on an Alder tree (I think) along Siuslaw river bed in Lane county on 2/15/2020. Getting very conflicting info on name. Also an article discussing how Usnea is commonly difficult to properly ID. Sorry for terrible pics and not being up close. Thanks for any support;) Reference pics all of same possible lichen: 415, 416, 417, 418 & 419. Dolichousnea Longissima? Alectoria? 

  • 17 Feb 2020 12:44 AM
    Reply # 8751466 on 8751398
    Pixel Dust wrote:

     Found on an Alder tree (I think) along Siuslaw river bed in Lane county on 2/15/2020. Getting very conflicting info on name. Also an article discussing how Usnea is commonly difficult to properly ID. Sorry for terrible pics and not being up close. Thanks for any support;) Reference pics all of same possible lichen: 415, 416, 417, 418 & 419. Dolichousnea Longissima? Alectoria? 

    Yep, looks like Usnea longissima


    I don’t remember seeing Dolichousnea before, but Index fungorum has it as that since 2004. Interesting. Is it only longissima that has that as the genus or are any other Usneas technically Dolichousnea?

  • 17 Feb 2020 8:01 AM
    Reply # 8752023 on 8751398
    Bruce McCune (Administrator)

    Articus (2004) recognized several genera within Usnea, Dolichousnea being one of them. This has had a mixed reception, with some people adopting the segregate genera (Neuropogon, Eumitria, Dolichousnea), others not. She showed that Usnea is monophyletic, so it is really just a matter of taste whether one accepts Usnea in the broad sense vs. splitting it. I'm not sure why, but the current N Am checklist recognizes Dolichousnea but not Neuropogon. Ironically, wanting to recognized Neuropogon at the genus level was the reason Articus gives for segregating Eumitria and Dolichousnea (thus keeping the remnants of Usnea monophyletic). Personally, I am happy with Usnea in the broad sense as one of the most easily identified lichen genera in the world.

  • 17 Feb 2020 9:26 AM
    Reply # 8752254 on 8751398

    Usnea longissima is the easiest Usnea to identify because it forms long thalli that don't branch very often at all (almost never). Looks like a miniature feather boa or Japanese writing.


    Very photogenic, and you took nice pictures!

    Last modified: 17 Feb 2020 9:27 AM | daphne stone
  • 17 Feb 2020 10:09 PM
    Reply # 8753432 on 8751398

    In my herbalism class, U L I knew as a kung herb and more in a clump, attached in smaller bushy structures along branches, vs the long attached vines that intermingle. Here is a pic of what I thought it was (but hey, the term longissima makes more sense in a connected vine) vs clumps. Also a pic of the other species possible name from another lichen society. It’s so interesting because I pay close attention to plants and I don’t recall this one ever, and it’s quite fetching;) 

    2 files
  • 18 Feb 2020 8:56 AM
    Reply # 8754410 on 8751398

    The bushy ones are definitely not U. longissima. The interesting thing about Usnea is that there are MANY spp and many lichen acids so that the identification (which is nearly impossible in the bushy ones unless you have TLC) is important if you are using them as herbal cures. Each lichen acid has different properties, so using a bunch of "bushy" Usnea and calling it one thing could actually be dangerous. Added to that, some of what we currently call one species could have chemical variants, which is the case with U. longissima, so even if you correctly identify it you may be getting different lichen acids with different collections.

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