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Umbilicaria mammulata

Umbilicaria mammulata (Ach.) Tuck.

Gyrophora dillenii (Tuck.) Müll. Arg.

Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen

KingdomFungiMushrooms, lichens, gel fungi, yeasts, and molds; also called eukaryotes
DivisionAscomycotaSac fungi
SubdivisionPezizomycotinaSac fungi with filaments
ClassLecanoromycetes“Lichenized” fungi
FamilyUmbilicariaceaeThe rock tripes, a family of Asco-lichenes in the order Lecanorales having a large, circular, umbilicate thallus
GenusUmbilicaria
Speciesmammulata

About plant names...

Smooth rock tripe forms large sheets (rarely, up to 24" (60 cm) across), like aged curling leather sheets, on cliffs and boulders.

Identification: The sheets are attached at only a single point (hence the genus Umbilicaria). They are reddish- or grayish-brown on top, and velvety black below. The top surface appears greenish when wet. The large size and coloration are unlike other lichens.

Edibility: An hour of boiling is said to convert this leather-like lichen into an edible source of protein, palatable by itself or when added to soup or stews. Soak for 2-3 hours first to remove acids that, while not dangerous, may send you running to the bathroom in a hurry. Even after all this soaking and boiling, you’d better be good and hungry—many say it still tastes like shoe leather.

Online References:

Umbilicaria mammulata on Macrolichens of North America

Umbilicaria mammulata on the Mushroom Observer

Umbilicaria mammulata on Stephen Sharnoff Photography

Umbilicaria mammulata at the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria

Umbilicaria mammulata on Discover Life

Umbilicaria mammulata on gigapan.com

References:

Peterson, Lee Allen, Peterson Field Guides: Edible Wild Plants of Eastern/Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977, p. 236

Walewski, Joe, Lichens of the North Woods, Kollath+Stensaas Publishing, 2007, p. 77

Umbilicaria mammulata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

9/26/2010 · Doane’s Falls, Royalston, MA
≈ 4½ × 3½" (12 × 8.7 cm) ID is uncertain

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

11/8/2009 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

7/3/2012 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

11/8/2009 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

7/3/2012 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 6 × 6" (15 × 14 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

11/8/2009 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

4/21/2013 · Crow Hill Trail, Leominster State Forest, Leominster, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

9/26/2010 · Doane’s Falls, Royalston, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm) ID is uncertain

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

9/9/2010 · Pine Meadow Conservation Trust Land, Groton Harvard Road, Ayer, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

2/19/2012 · Wildlife Pond Trail, Beaver Brook Association, Hollis, NH
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

4/21/2013 · Crow Hill Trail, Leominster State Forest, Leominster, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

2/19/2012 · Wildlife Pond Trail, Beaver Brook Association, Hollis, NH
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Umbilicaria mammulata (Smooth Rock Tripe, Navel Lichen)

11/8/2009 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)