Local Lichen: Lobaria pulmonaria

Thanks to the excessive amounts of moisture on the west side of the Cascades, Washington is a great place to find and learn about lichens. Many might not realize that lichens are fungi, but they are! In fact, lichens are the product of a symbiotic relationship between a fungi and green algae and/or cyanobacteria. The fungi provides a home and protection, while the “green stuff” provides nutrients via photosynthesis.

Today we’ll be talking about one particular local lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria.

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Lobaria pulmonaria (left) next to one of its common look-alikes, Lobaria oregana (right). L. pulmonaria has much smoother edges and is not so white on its underside.

 

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