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Christmas Wreath Lichen

Cryptothecia rubrocincta


Cryptothecia rubrocincta is not only a beautiful crustose lichen, (highlighed by intense strawberry red, mint green and white colors) but is very tolerant to extreme coastal conditions. The red pigments are thought to be produced to help tolerate the hostile growth conditions.


Spotted on the northerly and westerly face of a Southern Live Oak tree at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Typically found in subtropical forest in shaded areas. The lichen typically grows on rough bark in sheltered and shaded habitats in moist and dense subtropical forests. More rarely, it is found on rocks or on leaves. In the USA it occurs in hammocks (hardwood forests) and swamps which have standing water, at least part of the year. It is also common in oak or oak-pine scrub vegetation.


Cryptothecia rubrocincta is widespread from SE US coastal regions to tropical and subtropical areas of the West Indies and Central and South America.

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Spotted by

Alabama, USA

Spotted on Jan 21, 2019
Submitted on Feb 14, 2019

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