Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena
Phlyctidaceae or Whitewash Lichen Family

Trees with lichen

Grows within the outer layer of tree bark and appears like a splash of white to silvery paint. So far as is known it causes neither benefit nor harm to the tree. The spore bearing structures are hidden with the lichen within the bark and appear only as very tiny black dots, as in the picture below. (The larger, round lumps that look like they might be fruiting bodies are actually defects in the bark, not a result of the lichen.)

One of the most common lichens in the Park,easily seen just about everywhere, especially in the winter when the distracting greenery falls. In some areas the splashes of silver are quite decorative. However, most Park visitors have probably never noticed it.

There are a number of species of Phlyctis in North America, distinguishable by chemical and microscopic examination. This species is probably the most common, and most likely in Wildwood.




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