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Beard Lichen



White in color, as if covered with snow. As a fruticose lichen, Usnea appears as a shrub-like growth on host trees. It reproduces via vegetative means through fragmentation, asexual means through soredia, or sexual means through ascogonium and spermatogonium. The growth rate of lichens in nature is slow, but the growth rate has been sped up in laboratory conditions where Usnea is being cultured.


Usnea often grows on sick or dying trees due to the pre-existing loss of canopy leaves, allowing for greater photosynthesis by the lichen's algae; this leads some gardeners to mistakenly blame the lichen for the tree's leaf loss and illness. Usnea is very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide. Under bad conditions they may grow no larger than a few millimetres, if they survive at all. Where the air is unpolluted, they can grow to 10–20 cm long.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Tiz 8 years ago
Beard Lichen
Usnea Usnea

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BenKula 8 years ago

Thanks Tiz~!

Tiz 8 years ago

I wish I could tell you about the specific species, but I hope that this above and the family name Parmeliaceae, can lead you towards a proper identification.
Best regards

Spotted by

Sabah, Malaysia

Spotted on May 19, 2013
Submitted on May 23, 2013

Spotted for Mission


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