04.15.2019 Cladonia cristatella

British Soldier Lichens or Red Cap Lichens are very common Cladonias found all over New England.  On my way out from visiting Roaring Falls yesterday I came across a spot covered with them.  I particularly liked this stump that was home to quite a few.

For a closer look see my post from April 7Mark Graf was wondering on Tom Whelan’s posting of these about the development of the red caps.  These are fruiting bodies and there has been conjecture as to what the red function might be, but I am not sure whether anyone has come up with a definitive explanation. Whatever it is, those caps make it a very distinctive sight in woodland ecology.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, ecology, Intimate Landscape, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 04.15.2019 Cladonia cristatella

  1. All those vivid green “starbursts” make for an excellent and complementary supporting cast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tomwhelan says:

    Neat scene, great colors – I don’t remember seeing this lichen on a stump before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have seen stumps with them a few times as well as rotting fallen branches and split rail members. The one I posted the other day was on a bridge side rail and, of course, on the ground all over the place. I will probably post a couple more from this shoot in the future.


  3. shoreacres says:

    This photo would make a great and unusual Christmas card. The mosses do look like tiny trees, and the red caps are suggestive of a whole herd of elfs busying themselves among them. I really like these — they’re so different from anything I’ve seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It looks like the lichens are devouring the stump of a Christmas tree. Might be kind of bittersweet? They do stop short of Texas, according to the USDA map but are found in Iowa (my memory is kind of foggy but I think you’ve said that you lived in Iowa). I haven’t seen nearly as many lichen species as I’d like, but these are my favorites.


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