Smooth Shadow Lichen, Phaeophyscia ciliata
Physciaceae or Rosette Lichen Family

Lichen on branch

Lichen body consisting of radiating, overlapping, very narrow lobes, a few millimeters wide. These are gray to black when dry, green when wet. The undersides of the lobes are covered with a dense layer of root-like structures (rhizines) which stick out at the edges. These are black, but often tipped with white; see close-up bottom left. Fruiting bodies (called apothecia), which produce spores, are common on older specimens; they are chocolate brown with a rim the same color as the lobes, and often surrounded by black, white-tipped lashes, just like the rhizines below. Grows on tree bark and bare wood.

Probably common in Wildwood, but often overlooked, especially as it is probably most common high in the trees. Look for it on fallen branches and downed trees. Very young specimens can also be found on the fence rails (bottom row).

The black, white-tipped rhizines and lashes around the apothecia are the most definitive identifiers, but they can be seen only with a hand lens.

Fruiting bodies (apothecia)

Closeup of lobes and  cilia

Wet lichen
Young lichen on fence   Closeup of apothecium

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