Collection location: La Crescenta, Los Angeles Co., California, USA [Click for map]
This is abundant on sunny exposed mossy banks along trails and roadcuts throughout the foothills around the San Gabriel Valley. I’m fairly confident that it must be Cladonia hammeri, a species newly described in Nash’s Sonoran Flora. The distinguishing characteristics seem to be:
CUPS: broad, on short podetia, completely decorticate, covered with corticate granules and schizidia both on the podetia and inside the cups, esorediate
SQUAMULES: esorediate, pale grayish, strongly curled up in dry weather exposing the pure white cottony undersides
They have a rather whitish, granular overall appearance — much more so than other Cladonia, such as C. pyxidata (at least partly areolate-corticate), C. chlorophaea, C. asahinae (more finely powdery or granular).
According to Ahti and Hammer (who did the treatment for Cladonia in Nash’s flora), this is explicitly common in southern California.
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|I’d Call It That||3.0||11.40||2||(nathan,jason)|
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