Boreal Oakmoss

(Evernia mesomorpha)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Boreal Oakmoss

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and very common

Habitat/Hosts

Branches and trunks of deciduous and coniferous trees

 

 

    Photo by Luciearl
 
Identification

Boreal Oakmoss is a common and widespread shrubby lichen. It occurs across the globe in the northern latitudes (circumboreal). In the United States it is restricted to the northern tier of states. In Minnesota it is common in the northern third of the state, very common in the Arrowhead region, with only scattered occurrences south to the Metro region. It is found in sunny sites in forests and woodlands. It grows on the branches of both deciduous and coniferous trees. It is relatively tolerant of pollution, which allows it to survive near urban areas.

The vegetative body (thallus) is shrub-like (fruticose) and 19 16 to 3 (4 to 8 cm) long. It consists of numerous loosely hanging branches that fork evenly (dichotomously). It looks somewhat like an antler lichen but has broader branches. The branches are 1 64 to 1 16 (0.5 to 1.5 mm) in diameter and soft when wet. They are pliable, not brittle, when dry. The upper and lower surfaces are green, wrinkled, and usually have abundant, coarse, reproductive granules (soredia). These soredia are the main form vegetative reproduction. Disk-shaped sexual reproductive structures (apothecia) are rarely produced.

Boreal Oakmoss is not edible. Handling it may cause severe dermatitis.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

No Rank:

leotiomyceta

 

Class:

Lecanoromycetes

 

Subclass:

Lecanoromycetidae

 

Order:

Lecanorales

 

Suborder:

Lecanorineae

 

Family:

Parmeliaceae

 

Mycobiont:

Evernia mesomorpha

 

Photobiont:

green algae (Trebouxia jamesii)

 
Synonyms

Letharia mesomorpha

 
Common
Names

Boreal Oakmoss

Boreal Oakmoss Lichen

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Apothecium

An open, disk-shaped or cup-shaped, reproductive structure, with spore sacs on the upper surface, that produces spores for the fungal partner of a lichen. Plural: apothecia.

 

Fruticose

Shrubby: referring to the growh form of lichens that may be tufted, draped, or stalked.

 

Soredium

The reproductive structure of a lichen consisting of a cluster of algal cells (the photobiont) wrapped in fungal filaments (the mycobiont). Plural: soredia.

 

Thallus

The vegetative body of a lichen composed of both the alga and the fungus.

       
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Luciearl
       
  Boreal Oakmoss   Boreal Oakmoss
       
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Luciearl
1/4/2020

Location: Cass County

Boreal Oakmoss


 
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Created: 1/17/2020

Last Updated:

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