Snow Lichen - As delicate as Lace

Marilyn Harris

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

Snow Lichen or Coral Lichen (Cladia retipora)

SOLD a Laminated Print – (271mm x 203mm) – 8474 Views – 14.11.2016

Featured in Fungilicious and Explore Featured Photography
Featured in the Top 10 of Fungilicious Challenge Lichen
Featured in the Top 10 of Country Gardens Come Grow with Us Challenge Evolution
Featured in Garden Tripod Mazazine #31

Cladia retipora can grow like snow drifts, explaining its common name of Snow Lichen, while viewed close up, delicate and lacy, Coral Lichen is a fitting name.

Goblin Forest Walk, The Blue Tier, North East Highlands National Park, Tasmania, Australia.

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This lichen species may be widespread in its native Australasia, but it varies in its growth form, often looking like snow drifts, pillows or flocks of sheep in New Zealand. In Australia, this highly clumped form is rare, and the lichen is more commonly thinly dispersed through heathy vegetation.

Lichens often look like plants, and are classified by some authorities in the Plant Kingdom. It is more usual for fungi to be placed in a separate kingdom, and as lichen taxonomy conventionally follows the classification of the fungal component, Cladia retipora is usually placed in the Kingdom Fungi, Class Ascomycota and Family Cladiaceae.

According to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, the Snow Lichen is found in eastern Australia, including Tasmania and tropical Queensland, with an isolated occurrence in south-western Western Australia. In New Zealand, the lichen is found in both the North and South Islands.

Lichens are slow-growing, but with the capacity to colonise newly bared surfaces. The ability of the fungal tissue to shrink and curl to conserve water assists the lichen’s survival in harsh conditions, though its reliance on sunlight for photosynthesis means that heavy shade is not suitable habitat. The Snow Lichen shrinks and becomes hard and brittle in dry conditions, but is soft and spongy when water is available.

Canon PowerShot A650 IS

Shutter Speed: 1/125sec
Aperture: F4.8
ISO: 200

Artwork Comments

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