Powdered Ruffle, Parmotrema hypotropum
Parmeliaceae or Shield LichenFamily

Whole lichen

Lichen body (thallus) flattened and leaf-like (foliose), with edges rising up in ruffles. Upper surface gray to greenish gray; greener when wet. Lower surface with ivory white blotches or an ivory margin at the edges; brown and then black towards center (see at right). Edges of ruffles lined with granular material called soredia, which contain bits of both fungus and algae and can blow, wash, or be brushed off and start new lichens. Edges are also rimmed with stiff eyelashes called cilia. The number of cilia and amount of soredia varies from one individual to the next.

Fairly common in the Park, growing on tree branches in forested areas. Although sometimes seen on lower tree branches, you are more likely to find it by looking on the ground for fallen branches.

There are a number of species of ruffle lichens (Parmotrema) that could occur in our area, but so far they have not been found in Wildwood. If there are ivory white margins or blotches on the underside, as well as marginal cilia and soredia, you can be nearly certain you have a powdered ruffle. To be absolutely certain, however, chemical tests are required. Although we have known of ruffle lichens in the Park for years it was only spring 2018 that Radford University students in a Mycology (study of fungi) course pinned down the identity of the Park's ruffles..

Edgeview of underside
Whole lichen Soredia on ruffles Whole lichen

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