Post last updated: November 24th, 2019
Lichen are found worldwide on tree bark, rocks and sometimes soil. They are two plantlike organisms – algae and fungi — functioning in a mutually beneficial relationship with each other. The fungi can’t feed itself because it lacks chlorophyll to generate its own carbohydrates using energy from the sun. Algae, on the other hand, has no problem with this task so the two form a partnership because the algae needs protection from damaging ultraviolet rays. The shell of the fungi absorbs ultraviolet light.
There are around 15,000 species of lichen and I found this weird-looking one in my yard.