Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by Brian Ecott

Lichens on twigs

◄ On this piece of oak twig (left) is one CRUSTOSE (forming a crust) lichen frosty grey with many fruiting bodies Lecanora chlarotera. A very common lichen on trees and twigs. The two FOLIOSE (leaf like) lichens attach themselves to the twig by tiny "roots" rhizines. Both are common in the forest The greyish green one is Physcia tenella and the orange one is Xanthoria parietina. This has many fruiting bodies, and is particularly frequent on elder and willows in the forest.  The tiny orange fungus is Guepiniopsis buccina. With thanks to Tony of the Natural History Museum's NaturePlus forum for the fungus identification.   26th November 2015. 



 Note: All rules shown are in cm/mm
Lepraria incana  
 Lecidella elaeochroma

On this twig above are two crustose (forming a crust) lichens. The left-hand whitish lichen has fruits which are round to star shaped. This is Arthonia radiata.

John Skinner, Recorder for Lichens for the Essex Field Club and LNHS  reports that this species is increasing very rapidly in Essex at the moment. The right-hand one is greeny coloured with a black margin which forms a mosaic pattern. It has black fruiting bodies. It is a common lichen Lecidella elaeochroma.  

15th November 2015

      Another scan of the crustose lichen Arthonia radiata. 9th January 2016


 Lecidella elaeochroma and Lecanora albella. Photo Michael Rumble  Lecidella elaeochroma and Lecanora albella with black margin Photo Michael Rumble

Scan of thin oak branch showing black fruiting bodies of  Lecidella elaeochroma. The light brown fruiting bodies are  Lecanora chlarotera..

Crustose lichen Lecanora symmicta and foliose lichen Physcia tenella.

 Crustose lichen Lecanora symmicta Crustose lichen Lecanora chlarotera
Xylaria parietina
Xylaria polycarpa  
 Melanelixia subaurifera

Raymond has captured the texture and colour of this leafy lichen perfectly. Melanelixia subaurifera [synonym Parmelia subaurifera] is growing with other lichens on an oak branch. 21st January 2017. Photo Raymond Small.

 Flavoparmelia caperata


Flavoparmelia caperata on twig near Oak path. Photo Raymond Small.

8th March 2017.



This foliose lichen Parmelia perlata  (above and right) is commonly found on thin twigs in the forest. The edges of the lobes may be sorediate.


Parmelia perlata on a hawthorn branch (5 cms width). The lobe edges at the top left of the picture and elsewhere are covered in a fine dust. These microscopic structures are known as soredia.  Photo Brian Ecott. 25th February 2017.

Punctelia subrudecta [=Parmelia subrudecta] with rounded lobes at the edge. Lobes at centre have soredia.  15th February 2017. Photo Brian Ecott.

Lichen Hypogymnia physodes on oak branch in plantation area, near the Lake. 25th January 2017. Photo Brian Ecott
 Foliose lichen Physcia tenella on hawthorn twig. 9th January 2016 Foliose lichen Physcia adscendens  on hawthorn twig. 9th January 2016.

Physcia tenella on hawthorn twig. (2 cms width) Tips of lobes split and fold back to reveal soredia. Scan Brian Ecott 25th February 2017. 

Physcia adscendens on hawthorn twig. (2 cms width) Tips of lobes are hooded then split to reveal soredia. Scan Brian Ecott 25th February 2017.   

Physcia tenella and Physcia adscendens cover much of the hawthorn bushes and are easily visible before the leaves appear.

Physcia aipolia on hawthorn twig, hedge 2nd car park. Blue-grey lobes. Fruiting bodies black with blue-grey edge. (Width of this lichen 1.3cms) Rare in the forest. 27th February 2017. Photo Brian Ecott

Above and below Small branch covered in lichens and mosses. A pink fungus is seen in association with Physcia tenella and Xanthoria parietina. Details below.

Foliose lichen Physcia tenella on oak twig. A pink fungus which appears to be associated with P.tenella  and X.parietina namely Illosporiopsis christiansenii is shown here.



Physcia tenella and Parmelia sulcata

Parmelia sulcata on a hawthorn branch. (8 cms width) The whole lichen is covered in a fine white network on which soredia develop. Photo Raymond Small. 6th February 2017. 

 Left, above and below Ramalina fastigata

Ramalina fastigata on hawthorn bush. One prominent round fruiting body is showing. Photo Brian Ecott. 25th February 2017.

Ramalina farinacea with foliose lichen Parmelia sulcata 15th November 2017  Photo Brian Ecott

Ramalina farinacea above and left, on hawthorn twig (4 cms in width) Oval structures along the edges of the branches contain soredia. Photo Brian Ecott.

25th February 2017.


Ramalina farinacea  

Above Evernia prunastri 4th January 2018 Photo Brian Ecott

Evernia prunastri  

Since the 1970's and the reduction in pollution levels Usnea subfloridana (pictured above) is gradually returning to London. Storm Doris brought this branch down from the treetops. Several low level SO2 lichen indicator species like Usnea subfloridana, Flavoparmelia caperata, Physcia aipolia and Ramalina fastigiata  are now present in Hainault Forest, with the mean winter SO2 at about 40g/m3  Photo Brian Ecott. 8th March 2017.
The story of Laetisaria unfolds................


Above, a lichenicolous fungus Laetisaria lichenicola a lichen associated fungus. It is attacking the thallus of the lichen Physcia tenella.

Identified by reference to Diederich, P., et al.. 2011 Mycologia 103(3), pp 525-533

My chance discovery of the pink coloured Laetisaria on the lichen Physcia tenella reported in last January 2016 Diary page and the discovery of a report in an American Journal led to it's confirmation as the first report of it in the UK., thus "Putting Hainault on the Map" .

The story is in Academia  under Powell M (2016) British Wildlife.