Photo/Image: Clifton Institute Beginner Lichen Identification Workshop
Lichens: part algae, part fungi, all mystery! Did you know that we have more than 400 species of lichens in our region and that many of them can be identified with a little practice and a hand lens? Lichens in our area are diverse in their appearance, in where they grow, and in how they reproduce. The northern Piedmont is a great place to learn lichens because we have a fascinating blend of mountain and coastal plain species. The 900-acre Clifton Institute hosts at least 75 species, including some mature forest specialists like the Shaggy Fringe Lichen.
In this program, lichenologist and mycology teacher at George Mason UN Dr. Natalie Howe will teach us the basics of lichen biology and then lead us on a walk around the field station to see how many species we can find. No experience with lichens is necessary.