Lichen Viewing Areas
You can find lichens just about anywhere in the United States, as long as you are in good lichen habitat. The best places to look for lichens are in natural areas away from cities and highways. Lichens are found in a great diversity of habitats throughout the country. National Forests and Grasslands are great places to look for lichens.
Although some places are not lichen-specific viewing spots, there will always be some great lichens to see, as long as you know how to look for them. If you cannot find interesting lichen, at least you will be in a beautiful place.
Find Celebrating Wildflower events, wildflower viewing areas, and wildflower photographs by Forest Service Region using the map and links below.
By Forest Service Region…
Here are some helpful links about lichens. Some have great pictures and stories about lichen use, and others give more detailed explanations about lichen biology and structure. Browse through these sites and enter the world of lichens and the people who research them.
- All About Lichens
- American Bryological and Lichenological Society
- Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria
- A Cumulative Checklist for the Lichen-forming, Lichenicolous and Allied Fungi of the Continental United States and Canada, Theodore L. Esslinger
- Harvard University, Farlow Herbarium: Lichens
- Lichenland - Fun with Lichens from Oregon State University
- Lichens of North America - Discover Life
- Lichens of the National Forests in Alaska (PDF, 2.5 MB)
- Recent Literature on Lichens - contains a searchable database of publicatons in lichenology, and returns an annotated bibliographic list based on search criteria.
- United States Forest Service National Lichens & Air Quality Database and Clearinghouse
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: PLANTS Database
- Ways of Enlichenment - Lichens of North America
- University of Washington Herbarium Image Collection: Lichens of Washington
Books & Guides
There are plenty of books and guides available about lichens. Many of them have spectacular photographs, while others are all business to help you identify lichens.
Keep in mind that lichenology is a specific field of study and many of the keys and books are no longer published simply because the demand for them is not great. Some of these publications can be found in online formats, while others may be found by looking in a used bookstore. Check out these books, and then search for more!
Brodo, I. M., S. D. Sharnoff, & S. Sharnoff. 2001. Lichens of North America. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
Carlberg, Tom. 2013. Initial Lichen Inventory of the Trinity Alps Wilderness (PDF, 2.9 MB). USDA Forest Service, Six Rivers National Forest. Bulletin of the California Lichen Society 20(2), 2013.
Goward, T. 1999. The Lichens of British Columbia. Illustrated Keys. Part 2, Fruticose Species. British Columbia Ministry of Forests. Crown Publications Inc., Victoria, B.C.
Goward, T., B. McCune, and D. Meidinger. 1994. The Lichens of British Columbia. Part 1. Foliose and Squamulose Species. British Columbia Ministry of Forests. Crown Publications Inc., Victoria, B.C.
Hale, Mason E. 1969. How to Know the Lichens. WCB McGraw-Hill, Boston, Mass.
Hale, Mason E. and Mariette Cole. 1989. Lichens of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
McCune, B. and L. Geiser. 1997. Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR.
Medlin, Julie Jones. 1996. Michigan Lichens. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Rosentreter, R., M. Bowker, and J. Belnap. 2007. A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands (PDF, 15.8 MB). U.S. Government Printing Office, Denver, Colorado.
St. Clair, Larry L. 1999. A Color Guidebook to Common Rocky Mountain Lichens. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
Thomson, John W. 2003. Lichens of Wisconsin. Wisconsin State Herbarium, Madison, WI.