Thursday, January 28, 2016

Coastal BC Plants: Floral Pixie Lichen

Floral Pixie Lichen

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

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog. Love all the lush groundcover you posted.

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  2. Very interesting - I've seen these before but never photographed them.

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  3. They look like miniature trees.

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  4. Such lovely creations of nature!
    Great pic.

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    1. That was my thought exactly. - Margy

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  5. Hello, they do look like tiny trees. So cute! Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  6. Thank you for sharing !

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  7. Wonderful plant... i can't remember ever seen it here in The Netherlands.

    Have a nice abc-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

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  8. Yes, I too think they look like tiny pine trees.

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  9. I like this kind of lichen! Thanks for the comment on my blog.
    Thanks for joining the 18th round.
    Wil, ABCW Team

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    1. Thanks Wil, I enjoy participating. Sometimes it's hard to find something for every letter, but I try. - Margy

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  10. A pretty lichen, Margy! And a fun way to go through the alphabet.

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    1. Between plants and animals I've done pretty good keeping it to a topic. - Margy

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  11. Great post and photo for C ~ lovely ~

    Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

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  12. Thanks everyone for stopping by this week to check out my Coastal BC plant of the week. - Margy

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  13. Lovely little plants - interesting blog, too! Thanks for your nice visit! - Karen

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  14. lovely greenery

    ROG, ABCW.

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