Fungi & Lichens

Caloplaca verruculifera
A coastal, crustose lichen (Caloplaca verruculifera).
Tarzetta cupularis
An Ascomycete cup fungus (Tarzetta cupularis).

Lichen Collection

Lichens are those fungi that form an association with green or blue-green algae. They may be crust-like, scaly or branched. They grow very slowly, and are found on trees, rocks and soil. Lichens are often sensitive to changes in air-quality.

The lichen collection currently contains 35000 specimens, mostly from the British Isles, and includes the largest collection of Welsh lichens in existence. » History of the Fungi and Lichens herbarium.

Significant collections include the herbaria of E.M. Holmes, H.P. Reader, J.E. Griffith, H.H. Knight, A.R. Horwood and J.A. Wheldon. The herbarium of F. Rose was acquired in 1986 (apart from the Hampshire collections) which are of particular importance for the study of the distribution of epiphytic lichens.

Past botanical curators have contributed to the collections, including A.E. Wade and A.R. Perry. The current curator of lichens has contributed greatly increasing the taxon coverage and importance of the lichen and fungi collections.

Fungi Collection

Fungi are not green plants; most feed by decaying the remains of plants and animals, but some are parasites. Many are microscopic, but the fruiting bodies of some are large enough to be easily seen, including mushrooms, puffballs, bracket fungi and cup fungi. They play an essential role in recycling dead material, and in the functioning of the soil.

The fungus collection currently totals approximately 6500 specimens. The collection is rich in specimens of plant pathogenic ascomycetes, fungi imperfecti, rusts and smuts, mainly from the British Isles and other parts of Europe. Lichenicolous fungi, and non-lichenized fungi allied to lichens, are also housed in the fungus collection. A collection of 600 myxomycetes is housed separately.

British Pyrenocarpous Lichens Identification Guide

Alan Orange (2013)

This is an identification guide to British lichens which have perithecia (fruiting bodies that open by a pore). It was originally prepared for a British Lichen Society Workshop in 2008. This is a new updated version for 2013.

Download this guide here

Please note this is a large zip file (24 Mb) for download so may take a while. If you are unable to download this large file contact Alan Orange.