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Images of British Lichens

Roccella fuciformis (L.) DC.

Roccella phycopsis  
Thallus fruticose, tufted with one to several, strap-shaped, hanging branches, the branches flattened, to 1.5 cm in width, lilac grey, ash-grey when dry, developing clusters of conspicuous, subspherical, white soralia; apothecia with black discs but very rare. On sheltered, often overhung, vertical rockfaces on sea-cliffs, very local and scarce on south-western coasts.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 826; Purvis et al. (1992), 553; Dobson (2005), 398 (photo); Dobson (2011), 402 (photo, poorly printed); Jahns (1983), 258-9 (photo); Church et al. (1996), opp. 32 (photo); Valcárcel et al. (2003), 346-7 (photo).

Usually in company with the somewhat more common Roccella phycopsis and perhaps over-recorded for flat-branched forms of that species (inferred from Church et al. (1996), pg. 82). The soralia react (bright red) with sodium hypochlorite (bleach), cortex non-reactive, whereas in R. phycopsis the cortex tests positive (pink) but the soralia are non-reactive. However, these rare species should generally not be damaged or collected.

Roccella fuciformis
On sheltered rockface on sea cliffs, Skomer, Pembrokeshire, May 2009
Roccella fuciformis
Roccella fuciformis, close view of soredia
On sheltered rockface on sea cliffs, South Devon, August 2011

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© A.J. Silverside
Uploaded December 2011, updated January 2012