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Thread: I discovered a strange plant today.....

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    Member Crab_n_fish's Avatar
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    Default I discovered a strange plant today.....

    Hiking along a snowmachine trail I came upon this strange plant nestled under a black spruce tree. I say "strange," in the sense that on the underside it has this hairy, fibrous texture to it:

    http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8843/002ftb.jpg

    Can you identify it? Is it from the planet Mars? Heck if I know!

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    that is a foliose lichen of some kind, a symbiotic form of algae and fungus.
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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    that is a foliose lichen of some kind, a symbiotic form of algae and fungus.
    Been a while since i have broken out my Lichens of North America book.

    At first I was thinking this might be a Cladonia trassii (Spotted Black Foot) because it grows in the alpine tundra and is associated with late snow patches.

    Hard to really tell, I am no expert but now I think Homerdave has it right that it is a foliose lichen, perhaps a variety of Asahinea (Arctic rag lichen).

    Summer is almost here, time to get out and dust off all my reference and field guide books again
    Yeehaw!
    Grandma Lori

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    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    dave, g-ma, crab, from Plants of the Boreal Forest and Aspen Parkland

    the common name is listed as freckle pelt, or (studded leather lichen)Peltigera aphthosa

    It is actually a symbiosis of organisms in 3 kingdoms, monera, protista, and fungi. There are cyanobacteria colonies (the brown/black spots) the fungal lichen body itself, and independent algae living within the lichen which provide the green hue that makes it look like a leaf. The book here mentions it as a winter mtn caribou forage. i think it is common in most black sprucey areas.


    just thought i would mention it cause i was in the neighborhood.

    about this time of year i always remember that there are plants out there!

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Plants of the Western Boreal Forest & Aspen Parkland

    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    dave, g-ma, crab, from Plants of the Western Boreal Forest and Aspen Parkland, by Johnson, Kershaw, MacKinnon and Pojar

    the common name is listed as freckle pelt, or (studded leather lichen)Peltigera aphthosa

    It is actually a symbiosis of organisms in 3 kingdoms, monera, protista, and fungi. There are cyanobacteria colonies (the brown/black spots) the fungal lichen body itself, and independent algae living within the lichen which provide the green hue that makes it look like a leaf. The book here mentions it as a winter mtn caribou forage. i think it is common in most black sprucey areas.


    just thought i would mention it cause i was in the neighborhood.

    about this time of year i always remember that there are plants out there!
    Yes, Yes, thank you for mentioning this great field guide book. I have it here and never thought to get it out. Would have been a lot easier to research the way it is set up with the colored coded keys on top of the sections rather than my Lichen reference manual which can be very intense for this old grandma to decipher.
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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    Default Dog Lichen

    It's also called Dog Lichen and supposedly was used to treat rabies in the middle ages:

    "A widely used prescription for the treatment of rabies caused by rabid dogs called for a half ounce of powdered Peltigera mixed with two drachmas of black pepper. This mixture was taken on 4 consecutive days in a half pint of warm milk. When Linnaeus named this particular lichen in 1753, he called it Lichen caninus, the dog lichen."

    Got that from here: http://analogicalplanet.com/Pages/Co...hensIndex.html

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