Introducing Lichen

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by lhuget, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    Exactly how do you introduce lichen into your garden if you don't have it? Can I transplant it from the local forests and mountains with no danger of introducing a invasive organism(s) into my local environment? On that note, I boil rocks I bring in from outside my environment so exactly how would I bring it in if not on a rocks? I started a moss bed but I used moss from my own garden, friends gardens in the area and purchased moss and if I understand it correctly lichen is the result of a combination of organism so can't be "grown". I love the texture and would like to introduce some into an alpine bed. Thanks for your help.

    Les
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Lichens will find their way into your garden on their own, generally. If you have a specific lichen in mind, I'd say the best method would be to try and recreate the conditions in which it is found natively - for some, this might be impossible, of course. Substrate, exposure (to light and wind), and moisture regime would all be things to consider.

    Are you looking to have the lichens decorate the larger rocks in your garden? Or plants?
     
  3. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    I'm thinking they will add character to the larger rocks. There are black and pale green lichens that are very common in the area that I would like to introduce. Thanks Daniel.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  5. MarcelB

    MarcelB Member

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    I've just recently become interested in mosses, lichens and fungi because I noticed quite a few interesting specimens growng in my garden. I think they really add a nice touch.
    I live in the country on five acres and I believe that the fresh country air contributes to the natural establishment of colonies of these interesting "plants".

    Here is a picture I took in January (2008) of an assortment of lichens and mosses growing on a fallen elm trunk which has been on the ground for well over a decade. I left it there because I wanted to watch the process of decay. The red-capped lichen to the left of the photo is what is known as British Soldiers, Cladonia cristatella in North America and Cladonia floerkeana in Europe.
    These have established here on their own over the years.


    IMG_0082.jpg

    A good reference book is Moss Gardening, Including Lichens, Liverworts and Other Miniatures, by George Schenk. I purchased it through Amazon.
    In his book, George makes an interesting observation about this kind of gardening:

    "In examining this plant we engage in what seems to me a good workout at that purest form of gardening: gardening visually. That, as I would have it, is the process of looking at a plant profoundly, leaf and stem along with whatever attached jewelry, and assessing whether the plant - if it is wild rather than cultivated - is gardenworthy. Perhaps it has even made a garden composition of the place where it grows. Having seen all this, the visual gardener may smile a self-congratulatory smile, or at least feel a bit radiant about possessing a fine degree of visual acumen, and then walk on well satisfied. Visual gardening, at its best, negates the need to garden physically. The adept visual gardener feels not the least compulsion to grow what is already growing so well. Just there, where it grows, the plant provides the viewer with that momentary reward which is the ultimate goal of all physical gardening: that timeout for relaxed and appreciative viewing."

    For those interested in growing mosses and lichens in their garden, there is also a chapter on propagation and cultivation.

    Here's a photo of some mosses that have established themselves on what's left of the elm stump.

    IMG_0085.jpg
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Excellent reference (and ideas) - thank you Marcel! (and it looks like you have image-posting figured out)
     
  7. MarcelB

    MarcelB Member

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    Thanks Daniel. And yeah, I figured out how to post images. But thanks anyways for sending me that link.
    Looking forward to contributing more stuff to the forum.
     

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