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Images of British Lichens

Cladonia cervicornis (Ach.) Flot.
(= C. cervicornis subsp. cervicornis)
(excludes C. pulvinata, C. verticillata)

Description substantially based on Van Herk & Aptroot (see below):
Podetia cup-like, the cups single or proliferating from the centre to form tiers, i.e. one cup inside another, shape often somewhat irregular, soredia absent, basal squamules deeply divided, lobes elongated, grey-green to yellow-green above when fresh, curled upwards showing conspicuous white undersurface when dry; apothecia brown, on the margins of the cups. In heathland and on dunes, widespread.

The podetia of this species usually lack the multiple tiers seen commonly in the related C. verticillata, but Van Herk & Aptroot recorded up to seven tiers in each species, and regard the characters of the basal squamules, rather than the extent of the proliferation of the podetia, as diagnostic. The two species (plus the very rare C. pulvinata) are treated as subspecies in Smith et al. (2009), but there is a general consensus in recent Cladonia literature that they should be regarded as separate species, a view with which I agree and now follow here.

Refs: Van Herk & Aptroot (2003), Bibliotheca Lichenologica 86: 193-203 (photos); Nordic Lichen Flora (2013) 5: 27, 95 (photo); Smith et al. (2009), 323 (as ssp. cervicornis); Purvis et al. (1992), 207 (as ssp. cervicornis); Dobson (2011), 142 (as ssp. cervicornis), 143 (photo); van Herk & Aptroot (2004, 2013), 132-133 (photo); Aptroot et al. (2011), 50-1 (photos); Stenroos et al. (2011) 122-3 (photo); Lichen Atlas of the British Isles 2: 369 (1996) (as ssp. cervicornis).


Cladonia cervicornis subsp. cervicornis
On heathy sea-cliff, the Lizard, Cornwall, June 2010.
Cladonia cervicornis subsp. cervicornis
Cladonia cervicornis subsp. cervicornis
Two variants (upper in more shaded location) in dune heath, Winterton, Norfolk, February 2010.
Cladonia cervicornis, basal squamules
Basal squamules (+ one podetium), in heathy dune turf, Findhorn, Morayshire, April 2009.

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© A.J. Silverside
Uploaded July 2010 (as C. cervicornis subsp. cervicornis), last updated January 2016