|Wine goblets for the "Wee People"|
I sent this to our Master Naturalist lichenologists for review. Nancy Schanda responded below.
"These are Pixie Cup lichens, Cladonia sp, are found growing on soil and mosses and look very much like goblets for wee folk. These lichens display two of the main growth forms that are used to help identify lichens - squamulose and fruticose.
The tiny leaf-like structures, squamulose form, are found growing at the bottom on the substrate of soil or moss. The cups, fruticose form, are the upright structures that give the lichens their common name. They are fungal reproductive structures. The stem, podetium, supports the cup, apothecial disk.
The disk contains the ascospores that are released into the air. The spores must then come in contact with the proper algae or cyanobacteria to form a new lichen. The fungal reproductive structures of most lichens are very important in identification."
|Fruticose form cups contain the ascospores|
|Pixies play on cow bones- Wikimedia|
"In traditional regional lore, pixies are generally benign, mischievous, short of stature and attractively childlike; they are fond of dancing and gather outdoors in huge numbers to dance or sometimes wrestle, through the night." Wikipedia
|Pixie Cups with squamulose form at the base and unidentified moss to the left.|
Do you have trouble remembering the components of lichen when the subject comes up in casual conversation? Never again will you have one of these embarrassing memory lapses.
"Alice Algae and Freddie Fungus took a lichen to each other. They got married and ever since then their relationship has been on the rocks."A digestible overview of lichens is at this Earthlife.net link.