Observation 56012: Cladonia peziziformis (With.) J.R. Laundon
When: 2010-10-19
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Location: 35°13’49.26"N, 85°57’47.14"W, el. 575 m, Dotson Point Trail.

Habitat: Primary thallus was a dull bluish-green patch, perhaps 20cm across, growing beside a trail through oak-hickory woodland at the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau.

Identification: This Cladonia may be new to me. The entire patch had many tiny to minute podetia, each with a very small, light cream-colored spot of an apothecium on top, but the group in the photo was the only larger cluster of podetia.

Photographs: Image 103105 was computed from a stack of 23 photographs. The lens was so close to the subject that DOF was severely limited, so only a slice of the whole is visible in each of the original photos. Image 113298 was computed from a stack of 8 photographs. The software was Zelene Stacker in both cases.

More about the identification: Thanks for the suggestion, Jason. The light cream-colored caps of Cladonia botrytes look promising, but I went back and forth through pages of Brodo and I think I found it: Cladonia peziziformis, a species I had already photographed in Sewanee, but I assumed that they always had brown caps. Not so … Sharnoff has several photos showing creamy caps, brown caps, and even dark brown caps, but the color seems to be constant in each photo. Other characters fit as well: blue-green color, small, shell-like squamules, split podetia, great bulging turban-like apothecia, sandy soil habitat, and geographic range blanketing the Southeast. I could check chemistry as well. Cladonia peziziformis is meant to be P+ red, and C. botrytes is P-.

References:
CNALH Cladonia peziziformis images, description, and locality map, and a larger, interactive locality map.

Sharnoff’s Cladonia peziziformis gallery

Stridvall’s Cladonia peziziformis gallery: page 7

Timdal’s Cladonia peziziformis gallery

Proposed Names

-28% (1)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Brodo, Sharnoff, and Sharnoff, 2001, pp.264-265; Sharnoff’s Cladonia peziziformis gallery

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus

Comments

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I’m convinced
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-10-19 23:52:04 MDT (-0600)

Wow, never seen peziziformis with such pale apothecia, but you’re right it’s a dead-ringer now that I see it.

Oh how embarrassing — I have photos of one just like yours from last October, and another form 2006. That’s why I keep notes! :)

Thanks for the suggestion, Jason.
By: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)
2010-10-19 23:16:17 MDT (-0600)

I think I’m on to it now. It turns out that Cladonia peziziformis can have creamy, brown, or even dark brown caps, and judging from Sharnoff’s photos, the color seems to be constant in each little patch … each photo at least. Other characters fit as well, so I added a note to the observation.

By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2010-10-19 22:30:38 MDT (-0600)

Isn’t that the only Cladonia with pale apothecia like that?? Almost looks like a Baeomyces, if it weren’t for the squamulose primary thallus. I see C. botrytes is on the Smokies checklist, could be. I’ve certainly never seen it down there! (Whatever it is. :) Neat!

Created: 2010-10-19 18:03:29 MDT (-0600)
Last modified: 2010-10-20 00:29:14 MDT (-0600)
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