Lichen Species Hang from Trees

2259 WordsFeb 25, 20189 Pages
Usnea is the scientific and generic name for a collection of lichen species categorized in the family Parmeliaceae, which grow while hanging on tree branches and resemble greenish or green hair (Tilford, 1997). Usnea is often commonly known as Tree’s Dandruff, Tree Moss, Beard Lichen, Old Man’s Beard, and Woman’s Long Hair. Belonging to the fungus division Ascomycota, Usnea is a symbiotic combination of an algae and a fungus (Halonen, 2000). Usnea grows and thrives well across the globe. Because the lichen is often inconspicuous, many people are usually unaware that the hair-like tufts that hang down from tree branches are some of the strongest and gentlest herbal immune tonics. Numerous species of the herb have been described. In 1936, and then in 1947, Jozef Motyka published a three-volume series that distinguished around 451 species (Halonen, 2000). The species described in those volumes have been studied and reclassified as morphological adaptations and varieties of the same herb to different local circumstances. According to Jellin et al. (2000), the classification of Usnea varieties is based on herb length, such as the foot long tufts of the herbs growing in wet climates, or the smaller and less visible lichens of the dry climates. Scientists also classify the lichens according to color, with the yellow, green, grey, and white varieties being the most common. Furthermore, taxonomic categorizations of the various members of the genus Usnea remain uncertain. While the

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