Lichens

 
Drawings of several different lichen types, labeled Foliose, Crustose, and Fruticose.
Lichens can be distinguished by their growth form, which can fall into three main groups: Foliose, Fruticose, and Crustose.

NPS/C. Vecchio

What is a lichen? Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between algae, fungus and yeast. There are over 500 different species of lichen in Mount Rainier National Park. Advances in DNA testing have necessitated a number of changes to lichen taxonomy. The names given here are current as of January 2020.

Lichens generally can be grouped by growth form, including foliose, fruticose, and crustose forms, as described in the sections below. Some species are a blend of two forms.

A special vocabulary is used when discussing lichen structure. The main body of the lichen is referred to as its thallus, and the fruiting bodies are called apothecia (singular: apothecium).

 
 

Articles About Lichen

Loading results...

    Contact the Park

    Mailing Address:

    55210 238th Avenue East
    Ashford, WA 98304

    Phone:

    (360) 569-2211

    Contact Us