Observation 12874: Cladina (Nyl.) Nyl.
When: 2008-10-15
No herbarium specimen

Notes: A bluish lichen with pink branch tips, growing abundantly with a green lichen in open areas near the woods and in clearings.

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Three possible species in Ontario…
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2008-10-20 04:16:00 CEST (+0200)

Best I can tell, looking at all my books, there are three possible species for this observation. (I’m ruling out the much more compact Cladina stellaris — you’ll recognize it in a second when you see it). They are:

C. arbuscula greenish/yellowish, branching lower “like an elm”
C. mitis greenish/yellowish, branching higher “like an aspen”
C. rangiferina whitish/bluish, main stems unbranched “like a conifer”

All three branch in 2’s, 3’s and 4’s, the average number varying from author to author. Photos in Brodo indicate that at least the first two have gaping holes in their axils (as do yours), I can’t find anything about the axils of C. rangiferina. The branch tips of some droop to one side making them look “windswept” or “combed”: C. rangiferina usually is, C. mitis is never, C. arbuscula seems to be variable. Some of yours are (see the white one in the bottom left of the second photo, for example), some are not.

The color difference is very subtle. Seen by itself, I still can’t say with certainty whether one is “yellow” or not (meaning very slightly greenish-white instead of very slightly bluish-white). However, your photo, especially number four, shows both colors side-by-side very nicely.

My guess is you have C. arbuscula (the greenish stuff making up most of what I see in photo 4), and C. rangiferina (the icy-white stuff scattered here and there).

The only way to really be sure (aside from showing them to your neighborhood lichenologist) is chemistry:

C. arbuscula branches KC+ gold, PD+ orange/red
C. mitis branches KC+ gold, PD-
C. rangiferina branches KC-, PD+ orange/red

Hope that helps! Good luck…

Created: 2008-10-19 18:26:43 CEST (+0200)
Last modified: 2008-10-19 18:26:43 CEST (+0200)
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