Look at just a square metre of the forest floor you will find a multitude of plants crowding together for nutrients, moisture, sunlight, and protection from the elements. Up on the cliff under the canopy of cedars and firs I found this clump of Cladonia bellidiflora also known as Floral Pixie and Cup Lichen.
Lichens are part plant, and part fungi. They are algae or cyanobacteria and fungus living as a symbiotic, composite organism. That makes them a bit tricky to classify.
|Cladonia bellidiflora (Floral Pixie) in the middle.|
I found these in mid-March before the bright red fruiting bodies appeared on top. In addition to British Columbia, they can also be found in Britain and many other parts of the world.
This type of lichen stands erect, is conical in shape, and tapers towards the top. To me they look like miniature pine trees in a green meadow. On close inspection you may see small cups at the tip, showing that it's a member of the cup lichen family. The colour ranges from blue-green to yellow-green. -- Margy