Notes: Wind blown from older P. ponderosa in mima mounda short grass prairie area.
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Yes, yes, yes and yes. You’ve got the papillae and soralia down.
The “fake” paillae are called “fibercles”, and you figured them out exactly right: they’re the scars left from fibrils breaking off. When young you can see a hole in the center where the medulla was, apparently. Should be common in U. hirta given the abundance of fibrils. You’ve nailed it.
U. lapponica is the other extreme, very useful comparison, you’re absolutely right.
re: C going flat, but not K
Yes! I need to remember to write that into the section on spot tests I’m supposed to write for Ways of Enlichenment. Obvious in retrospect, but everyone has to learn the hard way because no one ever remembers to write it down anywhere. :)
Next? We’re on a roll. :)
This species has tripped me up before, but then I found the U. lapponica, and that made the comparisons way easier… U. lapponica has very evident papillae, whereas U. hirta (assuming this is it) has what looks like papillae or super tiny soralia, but those are where the isidia-fibrils have broken off… and no, there are no soredia/soralia growing underneath the isidia-fibrils. I know what you’re talking about… can’t remember the species, but had one from Umpanatum Falls like that. Neat looking.
P.S. I’ve learned doing periodic tests with an Umbilicaria that bleach for C-test should never be left in an open air container to use for dipping in implements – although contamination stays limited, seems it gets pretty weak within minutes, kinda like the P test… kinda a duh since its got a pretty high vapor pressure, volatile, but one learns best by mistakes, right? Some days more than others… :) KOH seems to be fine for quite some time though.
Does it leave a puddle of isidia under it every time you touch it? I’m kinda used to it having more abundant isidia, but this is no doubt variable (we are talking about Usnea after all!)
The critical characteristic for this species is that the “isidia” are actually fibrils. There are no true isidia. Sounds subtle, but take a minute to look at it really carefully. It’s not subtle. True isidia (sorry, “isidiomorphs”, even “true” isidia aren’t called isidia in Usnea, don’t ask me why)… ahem, true “isidiomorphs” would arise from tiny punctiform soralia. Look for tiny dots near the tips of branches, for example. These should be the young soralia. (If they are present. I usually can’t find any, possibly because they are obscured by the fibrils.) Look around for those and see how they develop into soralia. The “isidia” on U. hirta, on the other hand, grade continuously into long, obviously non-isidioid fibrils, and they are just scattered all over the thing, sometimes clustering, but not arising in “nests” or soralia.
I’m trying to rule out something like U. subfloridana or U. scabrata… I might have the names wrong — ones that have isidia and fibrils but nothing in between, and which clearly have soralia, chemistry might be different, too, U. hirta is negative, I think.
Also, U. hirta has no papillae, and its branches are somewhat irregular/wrinkled (both terms are overstatements, just means that they aren’t perfect smooth cylinders). I see no papillae in your photos, and I do see a fairly irregular branch texture/shape, so that’s probably all good. Papillae (“goosebumps”) are most apparent near the base if they are present.
Created: 2012-09-14 18:00:11 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-09-14 18:44:48 CDT (-0400)
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