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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

22 January, 2012

Lichen (Candelariella aurella)

Here is a common site on brick buildings and walls as well as on roofing tiles and even roofing felt, Candelariella aurella. This is a mustard coloured lichen that grows outwards in a oval shape, gradually expanding in size as it grows. Once it gets established those dish-shaped discs appear which are the fruiting bodies from which the tiniest of spores are released.

It does no harm to its substrate (or the building in general) but it is tempting to clean it off which is a shame as it is easy to forget it is a living organism that takes years to grow to any size. In any event, it is so successful in its environment you will soon have some more to replace it.

It is very common in the south (and so it is in Dorset) and east of England as it is relatively polution tolerant. There are a couple of other similar species but they are less common on brickwork.

Find out more about the nature of Dorset at my website www.natureofdorset.co.uk