Alectoria sarmentosa

Alectoria sarmentosa

''Alectoria sarmentosa'' is a long-lived, perennial lichen. It is also sometimes classified as a fungus. It is a light greenish colored and fructicose or bushy bodied. This epiphytic lichen belonging to the Alectoriaceae family and the suborder Lecanorineae, which includes six similar species. ''A. sarmentosa'' grows draped or strung over conifer tree limbs and deciduous shrub branches in Northern temperate rainforest. This lichen favors mature and old growth, wet conifer and hardwood forests with clean air. ''A. sarmentosa'' is sensitive to air pollution and used for air quality monitoring. Areas required by ''A. sarmentosa'' are found in northern and southern temperate zones and receive high rainfall. This lichen is commonly found in transitional areas between valley and mountainous forests, but usually avoiding the immediate coast.

The common name for ''A. sarmentosa'' is witch’s hair lichen. This common name is used for most ''Alectoria'' species. A similar-looking species commonly confused with ''A. sarmentosa'' is ''Usnea longissima''. These lichens are similar in color and growth patterns but ''A. sarmentosa'' lacks a central chord that characterizes the genus ''Usnea''.

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