SD3493 : British Soldiers Lichen, Cladonia cristatella

taken 3 years ago, near to Grizedale, Cumbria, Great Britain

British Soldiers Lichen, Cladonia cristatella
British Soldiers Lichen, Cladonia cristatella
Growing on a fir stump by the track in Grizedale Forest.

First described scientifically by American botanist Edward Tuckerman in 1858, British Soldiers gets its name from its resemblance to the uniforms worn by English soldiers during the American War of Independence.

A lichen is not just one organism, but a fungus and algae living together to form a new organism. Each part of the lichen appears to help the other. The fungus provides the algae with a "house" to live in, and the algae makes food for the fungus. Each organism could live on its own, but they seem to do much better together. The main body of a lichen is called a "thallus." You can only have a thallus when the fungus and algae have joined. The bright colours of British Soldiers would not be there if the fungus was alone; instead it would look like a white blob. The red part of British Soldiers makes spores. Spores are a lot like seeds from plants, in that they can travel by wind and start a new fungus. The new fungus will not become British Soldiers, though, until the algae joins it.
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SD3493, 32 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 1 January, 2016   (more nearby)
Saturday, 9 January, 2016
Geographical Context
Uplands  Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms 
Primary Subject of Photo
Lichens / Mosses 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 3429 9345 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:19.9418N 3:0.7203W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 3430 9345
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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