Calling all Canadians: Please help us celebrate some of the smallest and most excellent things in Canada's biodiversity: Please vote for the National Lichen for Canada! Lichen Vote before March 20, 2020 I advocate for Bryoria as a particularly excellent choice! See below for more information on this candidate Thanks! -frog "... Horsehair Lichen (Bryoria) ... In North America, horsehair lichen is predominantly a Canadian genus. In a sense, these conspicuous lichens unite Canada east and west and, with the help from tundra horsehair lichen (Bryoria nitidula), also north and south. More particularly, horsehair lichen, among the epiphytes, is THE defining lichen genus of the boreal forest, which in turn is THE defining ecosystem of Canada as a whole. In the northlands they occur in numbers unimaginable, festooning the branches of fir, spruce, and pine, hanging like little prayer flags and blowing in the wind: a blessing to all Canadians. Less whimsically, horsehair lichen was the basis of a crucial starvation food for some of Canada’s indigenous peoples and remains an important forage item for flying squirrels, voles, caribou and, to varying degrees, ungulates as a group. Horsehair lichen is also the genus that first hinted at a higher-than-expected level of complexity in the lichen consortium of disparate organisms. In this way, they underscore the point that sustaining a unified ecosystem – or nation for that matter - takes more than meets the eye—a lesson we must never lose sight of and, indeed, will need constant reminding of in the times ahead. This last point argues for the value in recognizing the lichen consortium as emblematic of the Canadian identity which, after all, is synonymous with multicultural diversity. As for including a genus of scraggly hair lichens as a candidate for a Canadian emblem, it’s well past time we all began to go a little deeper than surface colour or elegance of form. These intricate brown tresses – nowhere more diverse than within our nation’s borders – are pure Canadiana and, for this reason, just the thing..."