Come and be part of a global voice for wild plants and fungi
This autumn, help us find the Britain’s most colourful and important fungi – waxcaps.
Plantlife’s Big Give Christmas Challenge 28 Nov- 5 Dec, make a positive impact in protecting remarkable lichens.
Go the extra mile and run wild for Plantlife
Become a Plantlife member today and together we will rebuild a world rich in plants and fungi
It prefers well-lit conditions, so is often present in the canopy and on lower branches in well-lit situations.
Could be confused with Ramalina farinacea (below) which has narrower, more straggly branches, and lacks the pale underside. E. prunastri also lacks the oval soralia on the edges of the lobes, which is a distinctive feature of R. farinacea.
Other lichens with strap-like branches that are likely to be encountered in the rainforest, such as Ramalina calicaris, R. fastigiata, and R. fraxinea, commonly have rounded apothecia on their branches which are extremely rare in E. prunastri.
Widespread and common across the whole British Isles
A very common fruticose lichen on trees, which is easy for beginners to recognise.
As its evocative English name suggests, this lichen is relatively easy to spot once you have seen its ‘trumpets’. These are the apothecia (fruiting bodies) that stand out at the tips of many of the branches. They vary in size, but collectively make a visual impact.
Widespread and common across the British Isles with concentrations in southern England and coastal areas.
One of the most common fruticose species on trees with acidic bark such as alder, birch and oak. It is fairly pollution tolerant.
Could be confused with Evernia prunastri but that lacks the oval soralia on the edges of the branches and has distinctly paler undersides to the branches. When first becoming familiar with lichens you may also confuse R. fastigiata for an Usnea species as first glance, but if you look carefully you will notice that R. farinacea has flattened branches rather than cylindrical branches.
Similar to other Ramalina species such as R. calicaris, R. fastigiata, and R. fraxinea, but they have rounded apothecia (fruiting bodies) and they lack the oval soralia.
Widespread and common across the whole British Isles.
It is most common in the south west’s temperate rainforest zone.
Favouring well-lit conditions and dry, open situations, it is most often found in tree canopies or on lower branches where trees are well-lit, in woodland or on scattered trees in open moorland. You can also find it on the ground after stormy weather.
Other large, bearded lichens include Usnea ceratina, Usnea dasopoga and Usnea hirta but these lack the sausage-like lobes.
Largely restricted to south-western parts of the UK with most records in south-west England.
Rare but when found usually on unimproved grassland, often mossy between late summer and autumn.
The latin name for Olive Earthtongues is Microglossum Olivaceum. Microglossum means small tongue, while olivaceum refers to the hint of olive to most of the fruitbodies (but note that the colour is very variable with some being much browner than others).
This autumn, help Plantlife find Britain’s most colourful and important fungi – waxcaps.
This evergreen plant has long, tongue shaped leaves with a pointy end.
Widespread across Britain, except in the far north.
Can be found in sheltered moist habitats such as woods, on hedge banks, in walls and in ditches.
A evergreen woody climbing wild plant, commonly seen on old walls and tree trunks.
Ivy is often found carpeting the ground or growing up walls and trees.
Its flowers bloom in an umbrella-like spread. In fact the term for such a bloom – an ‘umbel’ – derives from the same source as umbrella – umbra, the Latin word for shade.
It’s leaves are dark green glossy above, paler below. On flowering shoots leaves are pointed oval.
Widespread throughout the UK.
Woods, hedgerows, rocks and walls. Very commonly found on tree trunks.
Flowers September to November.
The Parrot Waxcap (Gliophorus psittacinus) can be found in the summer and autumn on roadside verges, cropped grassland and in churchyards. Appearing on lawns only after years of low-nutrient management.
It favours unimproved acid or neutral grassland, and are most plentiful in western Britain and particularly in Wales.
There are two Parrot Waxcap species that are recognised: Gliophorus psittacinus and Gliophorus perplexa; the latter was previously considered to be a mere variety.
Image by Sarah Shuttleworth
We will keep you updated by email about our work, news, campaigning, appeals and ways to get involved. We will never share your details and you can opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Notice.