“Eastern Candlewax Lichen”: {A. aurescens}

Ahtiana aurescens (aka Cetraria aurescens, Eastern Candlewax Lichen)

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jason Hollinger. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jason Hollinger. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Location Summary

Habitat: On trees, especially cedars & pines, rarely hardwoods, in Appalachian-Great Lakes Region.

Identification Characteristics

Description: Thallus appressed to somewhat raised; lobes flat & branched or crowded into overlapping cushions, usually divided into small, round lobules 0.5-2 (-3) mm wide

Apothecia:  abundant, red-brown, 2-7 mm in diameter, somewhat raised, marginal;

Pycnidia:  marginal OR laminal, very conspicuous

NO soredia OR isidia present

Underside: pale brown, shiny; rhizines short, pale, sparse to abundant, looking like cilia when growing along the lobe margins.  

Lookalikes: In the east, this species is most similar to Allecetraria oakesiana, but without soredia. It is often seen with Imshaugia placorodia on exposed pines.

Bibliography: Lichens of North America, by Brodo, Sharnoff, & Sharnoff

Database Entry:  Distance Everheart 12-26-13

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