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Lichen: Lobaria virens

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Name: Lobaria virens (With.) J.R.Laundon (1984)

Lobaria virens with mature apothecia and thalline ridges.

Lobaria virens with mature apothecia and thalline ridges.

Pronunciation: Lobaria virens
Conservation Evaluation: Least Concern, International Responsibility

Lobaria virens with volcano-like immature apothecia

Lobaria virens with volcano-like immature apothecia

Body Type: Foliose

Lobaria virens on an oak tree Killarney

Lobaria virens on an oak tree Killarney

Description: This has a large (10cm or more in diameter) leafy thallus with a distinct upper and lower side. The upper side is bright green when wet and dull green-brown when

Lobaria virens lobes

Lobaria virens lobes

dry. It is tightly adpressed to the substrate. The lobes are wide, rounded and wavy with a tendency to be concave; sometimes they have a shiny oil-like appearance. A mature thallus will also display ridges. Apothecia are large (1-3mm) and frequent; when mature they have a reddish brown disc with a thalline margin; immature apothecia look like tiny emerging volcanoes. Pycnidia with brown openings or ostioles are frequent.

Vice County Map: Lobaria-virens

Vice County Map: Lobaria-virens

The lower surface is creamy white with a thin light brown evenly spread tomentum. Cephalodia are present and contain cyanobacteria otherwise the primary photobiont is green algae. The ascospores are colourless turning brown when mature and 1-3 septate.
Chemical Tests: C-, K+ pale yellow or else K-, Pd-, KC+/-
Nature Notes: This species is an Old Woodland indicator, being mostly confined to ancient woodlands on both basic and acidic bark of oak (pH 3.8-5.7), ash (pH 5.2-6.6), elm (pH 4.7-7.1). Sometimes also found on beech and on rocks in shaded areas; it is a shade tolerant species. Found in Oceanic / Atlantic woodlands in the west of Ireland, particularly in the counties of Cork (Glengarrif), Kerry (Torc waterfall), Mayo and Sligo. Also occurs on isolated parkland trees that indicate remnant old woods.
Vice County distribution map: See Map

Link: Map this species on Lichen Survey

Other species recorded in Ireland:

  • Lobaria amplissima (Scop.) Forssell
  • Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm.
  • Lobaria scrobiculata (Scop.) DC.

Text & Images Copyright Paul Whelan, 2008: