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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Powdery Twig Lichen - Ramalina pollinaria

Species of Concern
Undetermined Origin

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S1
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known in western Montana from several locations.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Powdery Twig Lichen (Ramalina pollinaria) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date =
General Description
Thallus fruticose, tufted to somewhat pendulous, to 5 cm long, pale greenish or tinged yellowish from usnic acid; branches mostly 0.5-3.0 mm broad, flattened; soredia in roundish to elongate soralia, terminal (often lip-shaped) and marginal, occasionally laminal; and apothecia not seen (McCune and Geiser 2009). Chemistry: Cortex KC+ yellow; medulla K-, C-, KC-, P-, somewhat UV+ blue white (McCune and Geiser 2009).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Easily confused and often occurring with R. obtusata, but that species has scattered perforations into partially hollow branches. The soredia of R. obtusata are often beneath hooded lobe tips, which are seldom seen in R. pollinaria. Both R. pollinaria and R. obtusata are UV+ bluish white while the more common R. farinacea is UV- (McCune and Geiser 2009).

Species Range

Range Comments
Widespread. Known from the Pacific Northwest, mainly between the Cascades and the Rockies (McCune & Geiser 1997), and from much of the rest of North America (Brodo et al. 2001). Reported as a boreal-temperate-circumboreal species by Krog (1968). Known from Germany (Wirth 1995), reported from the Issyk-Kul and Baikal regions (Bychek et al. 1996), and from Fontainebleau Forest, France by (Boissere 1990). Also reported in Poland (Sulma and Bystrek 1982), and Fennoscandia and/or the British Isles (Krog & James 1977). Apparently rare in Denmark.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Substrate: Bark. Habitat: On coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs in low elevation riparian forests.

Epiphytic. The photobiont is green algae.

Reproductive Characteristics
Reproduces asexually from soredia.

Threats or Limiting Factors
None identified.

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Powdery Twig Lichen — Ramalina pollinaria.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from