Cladina stellaris (Opiz) Brodo
Cladina alpestris (L.) Nyl.
Cladonia alpestris (L.) Rabenh.
Cladonia stellaris (Opiz) Pouzar & Vezda
Star-tipped reindeer lichen, northern reindeer lichen, star reindeer lichen
This lichen is circumpolar, occurring above the Arctic Circle and below the Antarctic Circle. In North America, it occurs throughout much of Canada and the northern United States, in forests of cone-bearing trees (boreal forests).
Identification: Star-tipped reindeer lichen is a fruticose lichen: it looks like a miniature shrub. They are densely branched, and lack a main stem. They form compact, rounded mounds. Similar lichens are compared below.
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|Plant||Fruticose lichen, 2-4" (5-10 cm) tall, in compact rounded mounds. Pale green or yellowish. Heavily branched, with no main stem. Branches are hollow.||Fruticose lichen, 2½-5" (6.3-12 cm) high, grayish white. Branches are hollow, and end branches often point in the same direction.||Fruticose lichen, 2-3½" (5-8.9 cm) high, yellowish-green to yellowish-gray, composed of multiple branches from a main stem, like tiny trees.|
|Habitats||Boreal (cone-bearing) forests, on soil or thin soil on rocks.||Boreal (cone-bearing) forests, on soil or thin soil on rocks.||Boreal (cone-bearing) forests, on soil or thin soil on rocks. Often with mosses and grasses.|
Cladina stellaris on BorealForest.org
Cladina stellaris on Stephen Sharnoff Photography
Cladina stellaris on Wikispecies
Walewski, Joe, Lichens of the North Woods, Kollath+Stensaas Publishing, 2007, p. 37
Cladina stellaris description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.