British soldier lichen

There are a few colorful things around before spring comes – here’s one, the lichen Cladonia cristatella, common name British soldier lichen:

There are very small, found on the ground in dry areas.

4 thoughts on “British soldier lichen

  1. The world of lichens has been a tough one for me to get my mind around: there’s that vocabulary, for one thing. I’ve wondered, too, whether more colorful ones are more common in areas like yours. I did see an orange one this spring, but nothing so striking as this. It really is a beauty, and I enjoyed having my suspicion about the source of the name confirmed when I looked for a little more information.

    • This species if by far the most eye-catching one I see, and it’s pretty common. The other lichens I see are all a dull blue-green or green. Pixie cup species, like Cladonia coccifera, are interesting, but less colorful. There’s lots to learn about lichens, I know about only a few species.

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