https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/183183619

Today, September 13th, 2023, around five in the afternoon, I observed this interesting-looking plant that was naturally occurring on a rock overgrown with moss. They stood out to me because, funnily enough, they look distinctly similar in color and shape to the animated character Shrek’s ears. However, upon further research, I think I can positively identify them as a fungus whose scientific name is Cladonia fimbriata but is also commonly called Trumpet Lichen or Cup Lichen. This particular species can quite literally be found almost everywhere since it is native to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern and Westernmost areas of the United States, South/Southeast Alaska, and finally, they are spread out across the entire European continent stretching into Russian territory as well. After some more digging, I’ve found they belong to the Ascomycota phylum, the Lecanoromycetes class, the Lecanorales order, the Cladoniaceae family, and the Cladonia genus. Though I could not find any specific medicinal uses for this exact type of lichen, apparently many other species in the Cladonia category are a vital part of the ecosystem in Northern regions and also have other miscellaneous uses around the globe; according to the Alberta Mycological Society, members of the Cladonia family are vital to the grazing diet of the Candian reindeer population. Also, the same source states “the Aleuts of Alaska used infusions of lichen for chest pains…lichen was used in Russia in the form of powder on treating wounds…[and] In Finland, the lichen was traditionally boiled in water as a laxative, or boiled in milk for respiratory affections” (Rogers 1). This is the information I have gathered on the Cladonia fimbriata and the general Cladonia family but, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have found anything else of note that I may have missed and/or if I’ve identified the plant incorrectly!

Works Cited
Rogers, Robert. “Medicinal Lichens.” Alberta Mycological Society, 2020, www.albertamushrooms.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Medicinal_lichens.pdf.
“Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia Fimbriata).” iNaturalist, 2023, www.inaturalist.org/taxa/179037-Cladonia-fimbriata.

Publicado el septiembre 14, 2023 06:48 MAÑANA por leximountcastle leximountcastle

Comentarios

Hello Lexi, I didn't think a mushroom found in Alaska would also be found all across the world. It feels like we are disconnected from the rest of the world due to our remote location, and I often forget we share similar spices with them. It is interesting the number of classes a single mushroom can be categorized into, but there are over ten thousand different kinds of fungi producing spices. I wouldn't have thought Canadian reindeer would eat mushrooms; I always thought they ate moss and grass. I know certain lichens can be used to dye cloth, and due to the color variations, it allowed for a decent color range to choose from. I liked how you branched out with your medical uses and explored how Russia used lichens in the form of powder. Anyway, your observation was amazingly done, and I loved how you explored the topic.

Publicado por hannahbanana05 hace 9 meses

I find it fascinating how the lichen is able to thrive in almost any environment. This highlights how some species are better suited to adapting and finding their niche than others. After reading your journal entry, I spent some time looking at pictures of the lichen in various locations around the world. It was surprising to see how similar it appears, regardless of where it grows. I wish I could be as adaptable as this lichen!
Regarding its medicinal properties, I was surprised to learn that many plants are used as a laxative, and it makes me wonder if they all have mildly toxic properties that cause the laxative effect.

Publicado por samsavage hace 9 meses

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