Dave Cheetham (February)
As John Cousins pointed out in his earlier entry about 'Lichens' Cladonia comes in many shapes and sizes.
Here is another fine example of a Cladonia (Cladonia Squamosa I think) which I found this morning growing at the base of a small tree stump.
The identification process for Cladonia is complicated and I've found that a little knowledge of specialist 'Lichen syntax' like this can help a great deal :
- Podetia: upright hollow structures - can be pointed or branched or cup-shaped at the ends.
- Cups: conical or wine glass shapped 'cups' can be found on the end of podetia on some species.
- Squamules: flake-like, leaf-like or scale-like pieces found at the base, or up the stem of the podetia.
- Granules: usually found up the stem of the podetia - can be powdery, smooth, granular or squamulous.
- Fruits: Often red or brown fruits are visible which can help in identification.
Even if my identification is not quite on target, you can't help but be impressed with the delicate complexity of this elusive woodland beauty.