Plant ID forum: What is this plant?

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Name: Kim
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
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kdp7508
Jan 19, 2017 10:16 AM CST
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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Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Jan 19, 2017 10:21 AM CST
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.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Jan 19, 2017 10:32 AM CST
I agree, Lichen of some sort: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflow...
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Name: Kim
Tennessee (Zone 7a)
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kdp7508
Jan 19, 2017 1:59 PM CST
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!
Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
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plantcollector
Jan 19, 2017 3:04 PM CST
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.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 19, 2017 5:05 PM CST
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 strigas...it says, " it is very common to find this strange lichen on the ground after a windy day".
:shrug:

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 (+)]
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Name: Tiffany Wreathfreshâ„¢
Puget Sound, WA (Zone 8b)
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LivingWreaths
Nov 14, 2017 7:22 PM CST
I know this post is old, but that IS a lichen.@kdp7508

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 (+)]
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