Images of British Lichens
Usnea fragilescens Hav. ex Lynge
Fruticose, pendulous, much branched, the branches hanging rather like brushed hair, distinctly pale in colour, straw to pale yellow- or grey-green, black right at the base of main stem [hidden in the photograph below], branches ± constricted at their bases, finer branches with small, isidiate soralia. Predominantly in the north and west, most frequent in western Scotland, in damp woodland.
Refs: Nordic Lichen Flora (2011) 4: 118, 168 (photos, printed too dark); James (2003), 22 (line illustrations of var. fragilescens); Smith et al. (2009), 925; Purvis et al. (1992), 626; Dobson (2005), 445 (photo); Dobson (2011), 452 (photo); Brodo et al. (2001), 718-19 (photo).
The photographs show var. mollis (Vain.) P.Clerc, which is more richly branched and more densely isidiate, and with the holdfast not attenuated towards the base (James, 2003), the common variant in Britain. However, Clerc, in Nordic Lichen Flora 4 (2011), no longer recognises the two varieties as separate.
|On trunk of Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea), Aberfoyle, Stirlingshire, March 2009.|
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Uploaded May 2009, last updated November 2011