Evernia mesomorpha Nyl.
Evernia thamnodes (Flotow) Arnold
Boreal Oakmoss, Ring Lichen
Boreal oakmoss is found in coniferous forests in cooler climates. In North America, it is found throughout Canada and in the northern United States.
Identification: This is a fruticose (shrublike) lichen, though its thicker branches remind me a bit of antlers. (Beard lichens and reindeer lichens have thinner branches.) Boreal oakmoss is a pale yellowish green, and the branches are pliable, not brittle. Branches are wrinkled and irregular, more so if tiny reproductive structures called soredia are present.
Edibility: Contains usnic acid, which causes severe dermatitis in some people, and, although this is not confirmed, may cause liver damage if eaten.
Evernia mesomorpha on Stephen Sharnoff Photography
Evernia mesomorpha at the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria
Evernia mesomorpha on Canadian Wilderness
Evernia mesomorpha at the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry Northeastern Area Lichens Growing on Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Trees in the Northeast
Evernia mesomorpha on Wikimedia Commons
Evernia mesomorpha on Macrolichens of North America
Evernia mesomorpha description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.