Lichen or Moss?

Cup Lichen
Cup Lichen

I took this photo 2-3 years ago and thought until this week it was moss.

This enchanting specimen is commonly known as Pixie Cups, for the tiny cups of course. It grows through out the US and Canada and supposedly if you walk in the woods and train your eyes on rotting logs and tree stumps you’ll find it there. It’s scientific name is Cladonia which applies to a whole family of cup shaped lichens. My first lichen ID!

One thought on “Lichen or Moss?

  1. Hi BoAe,

    Moss and Lichen are closely related. I’ll think about what you said about not separating them. I’ll keep my eyes open for more pixie cups.

    Until now I’ve thought of lichen as just that flat, dry, colored stuff one finds on rocks. Sometimes I find it beautiful but the dryness and the name lichen makes me like it less than moss. I like the moist, puffy, roundedness of moss. I know — I’m prejudice against lichen.

    There’s stuff called liverwort too. Talk about hideous names! Probably have pictures of that too, but not sure of what distinguishes it yet:)

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