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Jan 19, 2017 10:16 AM CST
Name: Kim
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
Hi there! Im trying to find out what this little plant is that I found. I was thinking it was some kind of "air" plant because it was just kind of laying on the ground between some leaves. There are not really any roots. My first thought was that something could have rustled it and it came out of the ground, but there were several more of them in the area that were the same, not rooted into the ground. I googled air plants and didnt see any that looked like this. Please help!
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Jan 19, 2017 10:21 AM CST
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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That's a lichen. They are most often found growing on tree trunks. Absolutely fascinating.

You don't say where in the world you are so ID is difficult.
Jan 19, 2017 10:32 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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I agree, Lichen of some sort:
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!

Jan 19, 2017 1:59 PM CST
Name: Kim
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
kniphofia said:That's a lichen. They are most often found growing on tree trunks. Absolutely fascinating.

You don't say where in the world you are so ID is difficult.

So sorry! I'm new and I did just fill out my profile. I'm in Tennessee and I wondered if it was some sort of moss like I see growing on tree trunks, but these are growing in the middle of the yard, rather than on trees. Thanks so much for your response!
Jan 19, 2017 3:04 PM CST
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
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I agree that it is lichen. Maybe the wind blow it out of a tree. And it's possible it is growing on the ground. Lichen can be found growing anywhere. It grows on rocks and in warter in the middle of a field. Most of the time it is in trees.
Jan 19, 2017 5:05 PM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Yep, I agree. It's a cute little lichen...and I am likin' it. Thumbs up

Here is a link that shows several lichen(s) found in Tennessee. http://www.easttennesseewildfl...
One that looks similar to yours is the Bushy Beard Lichen/Usnea says, " it is very common to find this strange lichen on the ground after a windy day".

Edited: Sorry, I forgot to add the link.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Last edited by greene Jan 19, 2017 6:55 PM Icon for preview
Nov 14, 2017 7:22 PM CST
Name: Tiffany Wreathfreshâ„¢
Puget Sound, WA (Zone 8b)
I know this post is old, but that IS a [email protected]

The popular name for this category of lichen is, "false pixie cup" or "pixie cup" or sometimes "fairy cup" lichens. They come in many different species and typically grow in shadier locations, on a log, in gravel (I've found them in landscaped gravel beds next to roads and you wouldn't know they were there unless you were familiar with them).
Lichens are classified into 3 "growing" types, fruticose, crustose, foliose (or in People-Speak: branchy/pokey-looking, flat, leaf-like).
"Pixie Cups" are of the Fruticose type of the genus, Cladonia.


Cheers! from me, the "Bryophyte Babe"

Oh! Forgot to add that the reason you dont see any roots, is because Lichen DONT HAVE ROOTS. Smiling They are not plants, but rather a symbiotic relationship (what I describe as a room & board agreement: you give me a place to live, and in exchange I'll feed you) between THREE ORGANISMS: a fungus, a 2nd fungus more similar to yeast, and an alga. Yes, it used to be thought as only 2 orgs, but latest research shows many are 3.
How do they 'Grow' without roots? They absorb everything they need to grow from the air and from sunlight. How this happens I may need to describe in another thread someday. ;)
Here's a pic I took of one of my favorite lichens

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Last edited by LivingWreaths Nov 14, 2017 7:54 PM Icon for preview
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