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Coral or Snow Lichen

Cladia retipora


Coral or Snow Lichen is a fruticose lichen that grows on the ground. It often grows with moss and can form large mats over Girraween's granite pavements, looking like a layer of snow. When viewed closely, the delicate open-work structure of the lichen becomes obvious. This gives the lichen its common name of Coral Lichen. The brownish-red tips on the branches are the fungal component's fruiting bodies, where it produces spores. At this spotting location, large clumps of lichen had been dislodged by recent rains, and to walk on the lichen mat, it crunched quite loudly beneath my feet.


Spotted beneath a granite rock ledge on the Underground Creek Track, which runs along Bald Rock Creek in Girraween National Park. Moist area with surface runoff, well-shaded in sections, full-sun exposure in others. Native bushland vegetation, but predominant trees were casuarina species and various eucalypts. Sandy soils, but most were growing directly upon rock.


Cladia retipora was the first Australian lichen to be described in a scientific publication. The specimen was collected from Tasmania in 1792 by Jacques-Julien de Labillardie, the naturalist on Bruni d'Entrecasteaux's expedition of 1791-94.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

I thought so too. And to walk on, it was as noisy as walking on gravel. Very crunchy.

Lovely lichen...

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

QLD, Australia

Spotted on Jun 3, 2015
Submitted on Jun 23, 2015

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