Lichen – Fungi – Mushroom – Oh My!

Submitting as weekly photo challenge – Variations on a Theme – closeups show detail of the plant-life, distance shots show the growing environment.

During my walk in the nature park last weekend I spotted a fallen tree with a strangely intriguing plant growth. From an Internet search I found a picture and description that led me to believe it to be a Turkeytail Mushroom. Not being very well versed in mushrooms or other types of fungi I consulted my landscaper friend, Vera. She told me it is a Lichen; it grows on dead tree logs (makes sense – that’s where it was thriving.) What is th difference, I wondered.

 

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A log full of lichen

 

Here is what I found.

Mushrooms, fungi, lichen – Oh My!

Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga (Oh no, not alga). The dominant partner is the fungus, which gives the lichen the majority of its characteristics, from its thallus (no roots per sa) shape to its body.

Fungi are any of a group of unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, they include molds, yeast, mushrooms (Ah ha, mushrooms are fungi), and toadstools.

Alga, plural algae \ˈal-ˌjē\ : any of a large group of simple plants and plant-like organisms (as a seaweed) that usually grow in water and produce chlorophyll like plants but do not produce seeds.

Whether this is or is not  Turkeytail mushroom, the flower-like appearance of the plant is very eye-catching. Don’t you agree? If anyone can identify my plant, I would be interested to hear.

turkey tail mushroom
Turkey Tail Mushroom Image
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Closeup Photo of My Plant-Life
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My Plant Close Up

Weekly photo challenge Variations on a Theme wk of Jan 24, 2018 – showing up close shots of plant -life and distance sbots showing environment surrounding the plant.

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