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Hammered Shield Lichen
This lichen is about to get all medieval on you.

So, this is basically one of my favorite names, because when I look at this lichen, I kinda get it! And it’s interesting to me that however it got its name was when people still had the concept of shields on their minds. I don’t think the general populous thinks about shields that much anymore, unless you’re really into Marvel movies.

Alternate Names: Powdered Crottle, Cracked-shield Lichen
Size: Varies
Family: Parmeliaceae 
Habitat: Common in the northern and southern hemispheres, typically growing on trees and rocks, but not soil.
Identification: "greenish-gray to whitish-gray, more or less circular in outline, and divided into branches (lobes). The lobes are flat, 1/16″ to 3/16″ (2 to 5 mm) wide, widely spreading, overlapping, and touching but separate, not fused together. The tips are abruptly squared, as if cut off (truncate). The upper surface is shiny but sometimes has a white, flour-like or frost-like covering (pruinose)."
Uses: These types of lichen have been used to make a reddish-brown dye.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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British Soldier Lichen

Scanning the ground on a winter walk around the perimeter of my 'micro farm' I was immediately surprised by bright red spots on the very brown leafy and occasionally green mossy ground.