(Bristly Beard Lichen)

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Usnea hirta, Indiana Creek, Summit Co. 1666

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Usnea hirta, Indiana Creek, Summit Co. 1680

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Usnea hirta, Indiana Creek, Summit Co. 1675

Scientific Name Usnea hirta USDA PLANTS Symbol USHI60
Common Name Bristly Beard Lichen ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 190805
Family Parmeliaceae Lichen Herbaria
Consortium Ref.
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Description Life zones and habitat: Up to subalpine (11800 ft.); on bark and dead trees or wood, very rarely on rock.
General: The shrubby-bushy thallus (body of the plant) is fused only in one place with the substrate, and is gray to yellowish greenish and reaches to about 2 inches in length and width. The branches are very thin, up to about 0.6 mm thick (rarely more), partially edged and have inside a tough, white central strand. Characteristic are a bright base and numerous thorn-like protruding, long and thin isidia. Fruit bodies (apothecia) are very rare. It is sensitive to air pollution, and is often used to monitor sulphur dioxide.
References: Picture Mushroom, Wikipedia and Lichen Herbaria Consortium.
Colorado Status Native

© Tom Lebsack 2024

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County