|Lea's bog lichen, Phaeophyscia leana. When dry appears grey in color with narrow lobes. May have apothecia (dark discs)|
Word got around that this lichen was being found again in river bottomlands of states bordering the Ohio River, but what about Ohio? In the early 2000's, a great botanist named Dan Boone spread the word our way about the potential of this lichen being found in flooded areas of southern Ohio. He knew that the preserve started inventory of its lichen diversity, and a local naturalist named Barb Lund was actively collecting lichens in Adams County. She went to an area of the Ohio River that appears to flood annually and easily found a lichen growing on tree trunks under the water mark of high water. She brought me the lichen since she knew I had started identifying lichens and although I think she already knew what it was, we ran chemical tests on it and ran it through the keys. Sure enough, this lichen was Phaeophyscia leana.
|Often growing amongst the mosses on the tree trunks, Phaeophyscia leana will look most like a Physcia, but larger.|
|Lea's bog lichen habitat. This area along Ohio Brush Creek near the Ohio River holds 6 feet of water during floods.|
|Lea's bog lichen on ash tree in Smokey Hollow, a new location for an extremely rare lichen.|
|Unlike other Phaeophyscia's, Lea's bog lichen is white on the undersurface instead of black. Greenish when wet.|
|Even silver maples on the edge of the Ohio River could have Lea's bog lichen growing on them, which some of these do!|
Posted by: Mark Zloba