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Stereocaulon vesuvianum (Sm.) Ach.


Thallus pale grey, initially squamulose but then, in its typical form, with tufts of ascending to erect, pale pinkish-orange branches (pseudopodetia), to 4cm, bearing abundant, rounded, flattened, deeply crenate scales (phyllocladia) that are grey in the centre when mature and damp, very variable in form but frequently reminiscent of smoke plumes from a volcano (hence 'vesuvianum'), globose clusters of soredia often present at the tips of the pseudopodetia, wrinkled brown to black cephalodia sometimes also produced, thallus testing orange-red with Pd (para-phenylenediamine); apothecia frequent, dark brown, button-like, on tips of upper side-branches. On siliceous and metalliferous rocks and stonework, occasionally on tops of urban walls, widespread, locally common and often abundant in upland areas.

Refs: Smith et al. (2009), 864; Purvis et al. (1992), 582; Dobson (2005), 417 (photo); Dobson (2011), 422-3 (photo); Jahns (1983), 222-3 (photo); Whelan (2011), 142 (photo); van Herk & Aptroot (2004, 2013), 356-7 (photo, primary thallus); Krog et al. (1994), 285 (photos); Moberg & Holmåson (1984), 153 (photo); Holien & Tønsberg (2008), 99 (photo); Stenroos et al. (2011), 448 (photo); Wirth (1995), 2: 877, 878 & 883 (photos); Wirth, Hauck & Schulz (2013), 2: 1067 & 1071 (photos), 1068; Puntillo (1996), plate 38 (photo); Hansen & Anderson (1995), 65 (photo); Brodo et al. (2001), 670 (photo); McCune & Geiser (2009), 324 (photo).

Stereocaulon vesuvianum
Stereocaulon vesuvianum
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, habitat
On drystone wall, Gleniffer Braes, Renfrewshire, April 2011
 
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, studio close-up showing apothecia
Pseudopodetium (dry) from above colony, bearing apothecia
 
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, studio close-up showing phyllocladia
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, studio close-up showing phyllocladia
Phyllocladia (damp) from above colony, showing grey centres
 
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, studio close-up showing soredia
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, studio close-up showing soredia
Stereocaulon vesuvianum, studio close-up showing soredia
Terminal and lateral clusters of soredia (damp) from above colony


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Uploaded June 2012, last updated December 2013