Thursday, 25 February 2010

Evernia

With the weather getting worse as we get nearer to Spring, we opted for, what we thought would be a drier walk into town. Not so dry as it turned out, as it started to rain on our way home. Typical!
On a better day last week, we walked around Shipley Hill and I was intrigued by the grey-green lichen clinging to the bare branches of (I think) a young Oak tree (Quercus robur).
There are many different lichens in Britain and I have mentioned a couple in previous blog entries, but this is one I hadn't identified before. It turned out to be known as Oakmoss or Evernia prunastri.
This species of lichen is in fact commercially important. It is collected and in great quantities and used in the perfumery industry. Various extracts are taken from Oakmoss and , if you have ever heard that your perfume has 'woody' notes, it is possible that the 'woody-ness' comes from Evernia prunastri. Who would have thought?
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