British Soldiers - Cladonina cristatella

Some of my in-laws had been doing work on their home rooftop, and apparently there is quit a little, biodiverse lichen and moss habitat up there. It's my husband's aunt and uncle's house, and when my mother-in-law saw what they were removing she snagged a couple these wooden planks for me. She knows I am interested in lichens (in addition to knowing I am a world class nut). Currently the planks sit out on my front porch. It's been so darned hot and wet here, that all sorts of crazy fungi have been popping up all over the place. I saw a couple of my first stinkhorn fungi yesterday, and yep, they look and smell exactly as the name implies.

You can see the lichen and moss abundance that was growing atop my in-laws roof in the photo above. It looks like someplace that Tinkerbell would bed down for the night. The red belongs to "British Soldiers" or Cladonia cristella. I had never seen lichen of this sort in an urban area before, but apparently C. cristella is pollutant tolerant, and thus fairly common and well known. There is also some species of pixie cup lichen (Tinkerbell has to be able to drink her cocktails from something) mixed in there; perhaps Mealy Pixie Cup or Cladonia Chlorophaea.

I hope to do a little painting of these guys a bit later. I'll post it if I do.


  1. Beautiful camera work! Truly amazing organisms.

  2. those are some of my very favorite lichens there


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