Star Rosette, Physcia stellaris
Physciaceae or Rosette Lichen Family


Lichen on branch

Medium-sized lichen, a couple of inches across. Flat like a leave (foliose) and pressed agaisnt the surface it is growing on (appressed). The lichen body is gray, sometimes with a bluish tinge, or greenish when wet. The surface is covered with many little dishes called apothecia, which are the spore forming structures. The apothecia have gray rims and dark brown to black discs. The discs often have a whitish frost on them, caused by a deposit of mcroscopic crystals. In this species, the crystals are of calcium oxalate.

This species grows on bark, generally of branches and twigs and not on tree trunks. It is common in the crotches of branches. It is quite common in Wildwood, but prefers fairly sunny areas. You can find it on lower branches of trees along the forest edges, and also on fallen branches from higher up in the canopy.

Several other species of Physcia are very similar and can only be told from this species by minor characters; however, none have yet been found in Wildwood.

Closeup of apothecia

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