T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cladia retipora (Coral lichen)

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Cladoniaceae
Genus: Cladia
Species: C. retipora
Binomial name: Cladia retipora
Synonyms: Baeomyces retiporus, Cladonia retipora, Clathrina retipora, Pycnothelia retipora
Common name: Coral lichen, Snow Lichen

Cladia retipora is a clathrate (latticed) fruticose lichen that grows on the ground and is native to Australia and New Zealand. It sometimes grows in pulvinate clumps to 0.5 m wide or usually as scattered clusters 3–4 cm wide, to 5 cm high. It often grows with moss and large mats can look like snow. Hence another common name “Snow lichen”.
The branches have delicate open-work structure. The network of holes are called fenestrations. This lichen is usually white to pale grey and sometimes there is a yellowing at tips.
The tiny brownish-red tips on the branches are the fungal component's fruiting bodies called apothecia. These produce the spores.