L Is For Lichen and Líquen.

Lichen. Líquen.

Only slightly different spellings in English and Portuguese to refer to this fascinating symbiotic relationship between fungi and photosynthetic microorganisms (cyanobacteria or algae). As far as I was able to determine, this moss-like lichen belongs to the genus Cladonia.

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© Nightjar, all rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    A fine picture of lichen, like little trees.

    In Finnish lichen is called jäkälä. Lichen that hangs from tree branches is called naava or luppo. If there’s naava growing on trees it means there’s very little air pollution.

  2. Nightjar says

    Thanks! I love photographing lichens and moss, it’s like immersing myself in a miniature world full of wonders. Sometimes they look like tiny forests, especially when there’s a mixture of moss, lichens, tiny ‘shrooms and fallen leaves/pine needles. One of my favourite things to photograph.

  3. rq says

    Oh beautiful! Such a lovely capture. We call it ķērpis here (or, more usually, in the plural -- ķērpji), known as something that (rein)deer eat in winter. Interesting that Finnish differentiates between terrestrial lichen and arboreal lichen, so far as I know in Latvian you just put a descriptor in front (so different lichens are described by different appearances -- jelly, leaves, scabs, etc.).
    I love mosses and lichens, too -- tiny little fantasy worlds that look so similar to macro-scale forests, but are just different and odd enough to become filled with wonder.

  4. Nightjar says

    Thanks, rq! They do look similar to macro-scale forests, I agree with you on that. I have some other photos that show it even better. I probably should do a compilation one of these days!

  5. lumipuna says


    Interesting that Finnish differentiates between terrestrial lichen and arboreal lichen

    I had to cheat on this. While traditional definitions of the words may be fuzzy, Finnish Wikipedia says that naava is now officially used for the lichens of genus Usnea, and luppo for genus Bryoria and genus Alectoria. These are typically bushy or threadlike lichens that grow on trees, but then again many other lichens also grow on trees.

    Found this link to Bryoria fremontii, a circumpolar species best known from Canada. Its Finnish name is Kanadanluppo.


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