Plants of the Gila Wilderness-- Lichens

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences


Lichens represent a new direction and so these ID's must be taken as tentative. We'll get better at Lichens as we gain experience.

Lichens are in fact at least two separate organisms growing together as one. One is a fungus, known as the mycobiont. The other is either a population of an alga or a cyanobacterium, known as the photobiont. There are three different kinds of lichens, distinguished by growth pattern. Crustose lichens are densely adherent to the substrate and generally need to be pried off with a knife. Foliose lichens have distinct upper and lower surfaces and can be peeled from the substrate usually. Fructicose lichens have large areas that grow away from the substrate by hanging or appearing bushlike.

Cladonia pyxidata (Pebbled Pixie Cup)
Phaeophyscia hispidula (Whiskered Shadow Lichen)
Pseudevernia intensa (Western Antler Lichen)
Usnea arizonica (Western Bushy Beard)
Back to the Index