• Usnea hirta (L.) F.H.Wigg.
Usnea hirta
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This rather squat and bushy, or tangled, or occasionally stringy and pendulous ‘beard lichen’, needs acid bark to thrive. The grey-green thallus grows to about 4cm (but it is usual to find it much shorter). The branches are irregular in cross-section and limp when moistened with water. The main stems like porcupine legs carry a host of projecting spine-like spinules. Spot tests are negative. In Ireland, the species is more common in the north, around Connemara and near Belfast, especially.

Key characteristics

  • Dense tufts of scraggy branches (often of different thicknesses)
  • Spot tests negative; branches thick with spinules; on acid bark and wood.

Original text submitted by Vince J. Giavarini

 Simms, M. J., (2016). Usnea hirta (L.) F.H.Wigg.. [In] LichenIreland. Accessed on 2018-07-19.