If you follow me at all you know how taken I am with lichens. In fact, I’m so taken with them that I spent weeks in the studio and doing research to figure out how to replicate the patterns.
Lichen comes in a variety of stunning colors. We’re probably most familiar with the light yellow & green shades, but there are many more. The most stunning are bright yellow, red, orange, magenta, blue-green and blue-gray and they’re all even more brilliant when wet.
Lichens are living organisms composed of a fungus and algae living in a symbiotic relationship. You don’t have to worry that lichen is killing your trees. Even though lichen is often found on dead or decaying trees, they pose no threat at all to the trees in which they grow. The fungus grows on the tree and can collect moisture, which the algae needs. The algae, in return, can create food from the energy of the sun, which feeds the fungus. Lichen on tree bark is completely harmless to the tree itself.
There are about 15,000 different varieties worldwide and they’ve been used by people for food, medicines and dyes.
Did you know that lichens are an indication of good air quality? “Lichens love clean air. In fact, their sensitivity to air pollution means they make great air quality indicators. Like small signposts, these curious organisms can tell us a lot about the air we are breathing.” NHM
Check out my Lichen Earrings! what do you think?