Minnesota Lichens

Composite Organism

Lichens are composite organisms, not individual organisms. They do not form a taxonomic group, but are found in separate lineages. They are composed of a fungus (the mycobiont) and a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont), usually either a green alga or a cyanobacteria. They take their scientific name from the fungal component. There are 14,000 to 20,000 species of lichens in hundreds of genera.

Field Dog Lichen




Recent Additions

Bright Cobblestone Lichen

Bright Cobblestone Lichen (Acarospora socialis) is very common in southwestern United States. It is the most common yellow member of its genus in the southwest, and one of the most common lichens of any kind in the deserts of Arizona and southern California. It is uncommon in Minnesota, where it has been recorded only in Cottonwood County.

Bright Cobblestone Lichen is up to 4 wide and may be crusty, appearing sprayed on like paint; leaf-like, with thin, flat, lobes; or cracked, appearing somewhat like cracked paint. The upper surface is usually bright yellow or greenish-yellow when fresh but may be bleached white with age.

  Bright Cobblestone Lichen

Common Greenshield Lichen

Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata) is a widespread and extremely common lichen. It is found firmly attached to the bark of broadleaved trees, fence posts, and occasionally to rocks. It appears as a yellowish-green disk, 2 to 8 in diameter, divided into numerous irregular lobes.

Unlike most lichens, Greenshield lichens (Flavoparmelia spp.) are relatively tolerant of air pollution. They are among the first noticeable lichens to return to areas that have been rid of lichens due to pollution.

The Greenshield lichens are similar in appearance. Common Greenshield Lichen is identified by its substrate, which is usually tree bark or a fencepost; and by the upper surface, which does not have white pores or pustule-like growths.

  Common Greenshield Lichen

Other Recent Additions










Profile Photo Video      


a species of firedot lichen (Caloplaca stellata)























Bright Cobblestone Lichen

British Soldiers









Common Greenshield Lichen














Field Dog Lichen




a species of rim lichen (Lecanora epanora)


a species of thelocarpon lichen (Thelocarpon epibolum)


Abrading Ring Lichen (Arctoparmelia subcentrifuga)


Alternating Dog Lichen (Peltigera didactyla)


American Cartilage Lichen (Ramalina americana)


American Starburst Lichen (Imshaugia placorodia)


Angel’s Hair Lichen (Ramalina thrausta)


Baglietto’s dotted lichen (Bacidia bagliettoana)


Black Disc Lichen (Buellia nigra)


Black-footed Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia stygia)


Bloody Beard Lichen (Usnea mutabilis)


Blue-gray Rosette Lichen (Physcia caesia)


Bolander’s Peltula Lichen (Peltula bolanderi)


Boreal Single-spored Map Lichen (Rhizocarpon grande)


Bottlebrush Shield Lichen (Parmelia squarrosa)


Branching Pixie Pebblehorn Lichen (Cladonia decorticata)

Profile Photo  

Bright Cobblestone Lichen (Acarospora socialis)


Bristly Beard Lichen (Usnea hirta)

  Photo Photo

British Soldiers (Cladonia cristatella)


Brook Stickleback Lichen (Dermatocarpon luridum)


Brown Beter Lichen (Baeomyces rufus)


Brown-eyed Camouflage Lichen (Melanelia subolivacea)


Brown-gray Moss-shingle Lichen (Protopannaria pezizoides)


Caloplaca parvula


Candy Lichen (Icmadophila ericetorum)


Candleflame Lichen (Candelaria concolor)


Cavern Beard Lichen (Usnea cavernosa)


Cinder Lichen (Aspicilia cinerea)


Cladonia pseudorangiformis

Profile Photo Photo

Common Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia caperata)


Common Tree Firedot Lichen (Caloplaca holocarpa)


Concentric Ring Lichen (Arctoparmelia centrifuga)


Cumberland Rock Shield (Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia)


Cup Lichen (Cladonia peziziformis)


Dermatocarpon moulinsii


Dog Lichen (Peltigera caninna)


Dusty Cobblestone Lichen (Acarospora americana)


Easter Foam Lichen (Stereocaulon paschale)


Eastern Candlewax Lichen (Ahtiana aurescens)


Elegant Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans)


False Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia wainioi)


Fan Lichen (Peltigera venosa)

Profile Photo  

Field Dog Lichen (Peltigera rufescens)


Frayed Ramalina Lichen (Ramalina roesleri)


Fringed Candleflame Lichen (Candelaria fibrosa)


Gold Dust Lichen (Chrysothrix candelaris)


Golden Dot Lichen (Arthrorhaphis citrinella)


Golden Moonglow Lichen (Dimelaena oreina)


Granular Mottled-disk Lichen (Trapeliopsis granulosa)


Gray Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina)


Green Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia mitis)


Greenpea Mushroom Lichen (Omphalina umbellifera)


Greygreen Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina)


Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata)


Hanging Fringe Lichen (Anaptychia crinalis)


Lecanora opiniconensis


Leptogium apalachense


Lung Lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria)


Mealy Pixie Cup (Cladonia chlorophaea)


Methuselah’s Beard Lichen (Usnea longissima)


Orange-Dust Firedot Lichen (Caloplaca microphyllina)


Orange Rock Posy (Rhizoplaca chrysoleuca)


Orange-tinted Fringe Lichen (Heterodermia obscurata)


Pale-footed Horsehair Lichen (Bryoria fuscescens)


Parmelia stictica


Pebbled Pixie Cup (Cladonia pyxidata)


Peg Lichen (Cladonia polycarpoides)


Peppered Moon Lichen (Sticta fuliginosa)


Phaeophyscia chloantha


Pin-cushion Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria polycarpa)


Pixie Foam Lichen (Stereocaulon pileatum)


Plated Rock Tripe (Umbilicaria muehlenbergii)


Port-hole Lichen (Menegazzia terebrata)


Powder-edged Ruffle Lichen (Parmelia stuppea)


Powder-tipped Rosette Lichen (Physcia dubia)


Powder-tipped Shadow Lichen (Phaeophyscia adiastola)


Powdery Almond Lichen (Amygdalaria panaeola)


Powdery Goldspeck Lichen (Candelariella efflorescens)


Powdery Saucer Lichen (Ochrolechia androgyna)


Powdery Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria ulophyllodes)


Punctured Rock Tripe (Umbilicaria torrefacta)


Ragbag Lichen (Platismasunbursttia glauca)


Red Beard Lichen (Usnea rubicunda)


Rock Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia baltimorensis)


Rock Shield Lichen (Xanthoparmelia sp.)


Salted Shell Lichen (Coccocarpia palmicola)


Smooth Lungwort (Lobaria quercizans)


Speckled Greenshield Lichen (Flavoparmelia flavientor)


Star Rosette Lichen (Physcia stellaris)


Sugared Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sorediata)


Sulphur Dust Lichen (Chrysothrix chlorina)


Sulphur Firedot Lichen (Caloplaca flavovirescens)


Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria sp.)


Textured Lungwort (Lobaria scrobiculata)


Tiny Button Lichen (Amandinea punctata)


Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata)


Wand Lichen (Cladonia rei)


Yellow Map Lichen (Rhizocarpon geographicum)


Yellow Ribbon Lichen (Allocetraria oakesiana)


Yellow Specklebelly (Pseudocyphellaria crocata)




No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for a lichen in the list at left you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that lichen. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the lichen in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that lichen featuring your contribution.












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