On March 21 we hosted a virtual talk by lichenologists Jessica Allen, Phd and James Lendemer, Phd. If you missed it, or want to revisit it, the recording is provided here from our YouTube channel.

Some further resources can be found below. Let me know if you find additional information of interest to lichen enthusiasts!



Urban Lichens: A Field Guide for Northeastern North America, by Jessica Allen and James Lendemer: this is a great introduction to the world of lichens and the varieties that can be found in our area. Pick it up and you’ll soon be identifying the major types and most familiar species of lichen.

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake – while primarily about fungi, this vividly written and entertaining book includes a chapter on lichens. (“The closer we get to lichens, the stranger they seem.”)

Articles & Papers

lichens photo by Margaret Roach

“Your Garden Isn’t Winding Down: It’s Still Lichen Season”: this New York Times article by Margaret Roach is a nice profile of Jessica and James and a good overview of lichens. If the website shows a paywall, you can read the text here.

Lichen Checklist

An Annotated Checklist of Lichens Reported from New York City Since 1968“: this is a paper published by Jessica Allen in the Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Society (2020).

Gardens and Societies

  • Philadelphia Botanical Club – sponsors field trips to wild areas and gardens in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and workshops on botanical topics.
  • Torrey Botanical Society – the oldest botanical society in the U.S. holds Zoom lectures for plant lovers and botanists.

Citizen Science

iNaturalist is an easy-to-use app that lets you upload a picture of any wild plant, animal–or lichen!. Your contributions can create research quality data for scientists who are working to better understand and protect nature. Every observation becomes part of a growing record of Earth’s biodiversity.

You can also view what others have seen in your area! Wondering if Smokey-eyed Boulder Lichen (Porpidia albocaerulescens) has been spotted in our area? Use the Explore option to find out! (Yes, it has!)

Here’s a great introduction to getting started with iNaturalist.

See our previous Citizen Science post for more projects!