Smooth Shadow, 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. The medulla (inner part of the lichen), which can be seen if the upper skin is damaged, is white.

Grows on tree bark. 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.

The dark color and tendency to turn green when wet are good identifiers. The black, white-tipped rhizines and lashes around the apothecia are also helpful, but can only be seen with a handlens. Bloody shadow (P. rubropulchra) is very similar, except that it usually (but not always) lacks apothecia, and it has an orange inside, while the inside of smooth shadow is white.

Fruiting bodies (apothecia)

Closeup of lobes and  cilia

Wet lichen
  Closeup of apothecium  

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