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Lichen ID

Posts: 65
Location: Oregon (zone 7b), 31.3 inches/yr rainfall
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I'm wanting to ID these Lichens. I found them in the Columbia River Gorge growing on oak and pine trees in a forested area near the river. (Also nice to know is if you've eaten or tasted them or if you are sure they are poisonous, as I'm planning on trying them.)

Specimens 1, 2, and 3 (2 & 3 may be the same?)

Specimen 1 close up - grew on branches and trunks

Specimen 2 - grew on trunks/bark

Specimen 3 - grew on trunks/bark

Posts: 643
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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I was pretty sure that #1 was a reindeer lichen (or as some call it, a reindeer moss) until I saw that you said it grew on a tree trunk. The others are definitely tree lichens -- 2 & 3 may or may not be the same species. As far as I know ALL lichens are edible except the Wolf Lichen. I just read some interesting stuff on that one. You may like to go read this as well -- very informative.

But before you do, you may also be interested to know that the reindeer lichen, (which grows on the ground, not trees, but does look something like that first one -- but in round mounds) when dried and powdered, actually makes quite an interesting survival flour that you can use to make biscuits or bread (the blue bloom from wild grapes, juniper berries and some other fruits can be used as yeast to leaven it). I have used it myself, and though it is no where near as palatable as the flour from cattails (or regular wheat flour) it does work and will keep you alive. Try it sometime using maybe half lichen, half regular flour for the first time.

Now, here is the link I told you about... http://www.perspective.com/nature/fungi/lichens.html#Letharia-vulpina

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