Friday, April 25, 2014

Moss and Lichen Watching at Interstate State Park

From a recent family trip to Interstate State Park (both the Minnesota and Wisconsin side).

Rock Jasmine - Androsace occidentalis

I'm starting my "Moss and Lichen Watching . . ." post with something that is neither, it's a flowering plant.  But it's so tiny and I found it while poking around the rocks and such looking for moss and lichen photo opportunities.  They have a Hen-and-Chicks look to them, at this stage, before their tiny white flowers open.  It was somewhat of a challenge to identify, mainly because many wildflower guides don't mention it; I think the comment on the Minnesota Wildflower page best sums up this plant  ". . . and is only of interest to those who celebrate the diversity of nature".

Assorted Mosses

The ferns in this picture were often growing along with the mosses and lichens on and around the rocks at Interstate.
An eye pleasing arrangement of different moss species
I think the brown streaks in the above picture are little moss plants starting to grow over the lichen.

Rock-shield Lichen - Xanthoparmelia sp.

Rock-posy Lichen - Rhizoplaca sp

Leather Lichen - Dermatocarpon sp

The dark brown lichens.

Crustose Lichens

The one in the picture above is my favorite.  Maybe a species of Tile Lichen (Lecidea)
Maybe a species of Dust Lichen (Lepraria).  Crustose lichens to offer a lot of id features to the casual observer!


  1. Great that you have your family doing "nature", especially lichen. After a period of time macrolichens will become easier...and fun! Mosses, oh no, really difficult to identify. Enjoyed your post...keep up the naturalist blogging :-)

    1. Thanks for the post. I love the puzzle-like aspect of lichen id

  2. Great site. Love following what you find. It helps me broaden my knowledge base as well. If you're ever in the Central MN area near Avon please come look me up. I would love to have you join me for a walk on the Lake Wobegon Trail and the Avon Hills North SNA. Both are a great reservoir of native plants that I need help identifying.

    We have a bike ride this June called the "Lady Slipper Nature Ride" that is gear to bring people outdoors to the Lake Wobegon Trail and to help them learn more about the natural environment of the trail. Check it our at

    Cliff Borgerding

    1. Thanks for the compliment. We should try to arrange a time to meet - I've never been to Avon Hills SNA.

      I believe we know some people in common . . .