Picture Ohio! – Learning More About Lichens


Greenland Bear Spider on Map Lichen and Orange Boulder Lichen, Mount Washington, New Hampshire

Several people who attended my program, The World of Lichens, at The Holden Arboretum on February 25 requested information and resources to help them learn more about lichens. Below are a few items that may be of interest.

I have added a Lichens gallery of 32 images to my website. Here is a link:   http://ianadamsphotography.com/lichens/lichens/

In late April or early May I am planning a trip to Adams County and a few nearby places in southern Ohio in search of new scenic, wildflower, and lichen photographs. Adams County has more recorded lichen species (about 168) than any other Ohio county, and I hope to spend some time with local lichen expert Mark Zloba, who is the Ecological Manager at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County. I  am also planning a one-week visit in late spring to the Bruce Peninsula in Georgian Bay, Ontario, which is home to more than 350 lichen species, as well as beautiful scenery and wildflowers, including many orchid species. 


To learn more about Ohio’s 500+ species of lichens, visit the website of the Ohio Moss & Lichen Association (OMLA):


Most of Ohio’s experts on lichens and bryophytes (mosses, hornworts and liverworts) are members of OMLA, and the OMLA website includes an excellent introduction to these interesting organisms, as well as distribution data and dozens of excellent photographs and species descriptions.  

The photograph above shows the cover of the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s  80-page booklet on Ohio’s common lichens, authored by OMLA co-founder Ray Showman, with excellent photographs by Bob Krist, Jim McCormac and Ray Showman. This is the 15th in a series of ODW nature guides, and the first such guide to focus on non-animal wildlife. While the heart of the booklet is descriptions of 56 lichen species, accompanied by photos contributed by several different OMLA members, it also includes material on lichen structure and reproduction, along with numerous descriptions of lichen and animal interactions.

The guide is free, and can be obtained (along with all the other ODW identification guides) at the ODW District 1 (Central Ohio) office at 1500 Dublin Road Columbus, Ohio 43215, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Foliose Lichens on Yew Branch, Secrest Arboretum, Ohio

OMLA organizes two field trips each year, in summer and fall, and this year’s summer trip, scheduled for June 9, is to Wayne County in northeast Ohio. We will be visiting Spangler Park and Secrest Arboretum, near Wooster, which are home to a variety of lichen species, as shown in the above photo, taken at Secrest Arboretum. Attending this field trip, which is free, will allow you to rub shoulders with many of Ohio’s lichen and moss experts.

Finally, if you are interested in lichen photography, check out the latest issue of OMLA’s annual newsletter, OBELISK, which includes my  article, Lichen Photography With a Smartphone. Here’s a link:




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL photos, Frances 🙂

  2. This certainly an eye opening presentation about lichens. Lichens on gravestones often obscure inscriptions and the biological growth is destructive to the stones. So, biological solutions are used to remove them. It is amazing how many different types of lichens exist in Ohio.

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