The infertile thallus is very much that of a Physcia, namely P. aipolia, due to the conspicuous white flecks (macules). However both this species and the similar P. stellaris are unusual in rock (the observation refers to a fence) and both are usually fertile.
Another point of doubt concerns the rhizines (which are black as can be seen in the photo, mainly in the upper-right lobes protunding beyond the margins, whereas usually are not so dark).
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Sometimes is frustrating, but we like it and always try to “make a room” for wierd specimens.
Along comes something weird like this! I just spent a few hours last night studying a specimen which apparently is “just” Bacidia schweinitzii, something I’ve seen a hundred times, just never quite like this. Frustrating!
I believe Andrew has an observation showing this state from the Great Lakes region of North America (I’m too short on time to search for it now!) I know I had Ernie Brodo look at one such specimen (I, too, refused to believe such a state was admissable :), and he confirmed that he has seen P. aipolia do this, too. It was the most common state, in fact, in the specimens we collected last summer in eastern Washington.
I don’t know if P. stellaris can also do this.
As for growing on rock, I doubt this is out of the question. Look at the (somewhat) similar P. adscendens, which regularly grows on both substrates, for example. I just checked my notes, though, and I have only ever seen it on bark.
Created: 2014-03-13 16:28:13 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2014-03-13 16:28:18 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 18 times, last viewed: 2017-06-17 22:57:50 PDT (-0700)