Be careful though, not all lichens are edible, and in fact, some can be poisonous. Letharia vulpina, commonly known as the wolf lichen (although the species name vulpina, from vulpine relates to the fox), is a fruticose lichenized species of fungus in the family Parmeliaceae. A good example of lichens used in consumer products: deodorant! Parmotrema crinitum, a species of lichen used for dye. "Influence of short-term low temperature on net photosynthesis in some subarctic lichens. They provide forage, shelter, and building materials for elk, deer, birds, and insects. In Japan, they use lichens in paint for its anti-mildew properties. , The Klamath Indians in California soaked porcupine quills in a chartreuse-colored extract of Letharia vulpina that dyed them yellow; the quills were woven into the basket patterns. , The closely related Letharia columbiana lacks isidia and soredia, usually bearing instead apothecia. It contains a yellow chemical called vulpinic acid, which is poisonous to mammals.  According to British lichenologist Annie Lorrain Smith, reindeer carcasses were stuffed with lichen and powdered glass, and suggests that the sharp edges of the glass would make the animals' internal organs more susceptible to the effects of the lichen poison. In old, moist forests, it is typically found in drier areas. These lichens are yellow because they have high concentrations of the bright yellow toxin vulpinic acid. The thallus, or vegetative body, has a fructicose shape — that is, shrubby and densely branched — and a bright yellow to yellow-green, or chartreuse color, although the color will fade in drier specimens. Soredia and isidia are present in this species, however it lacks apothecia of Letharia columbiana. , The brightly colored fruiting bodies are popular in floral arrangements. Mailstop Code: 1103
Many lichens have been used for dyes. The Letharia vulpina or Wolf Lichen is a fruitose and is found on conifers in the Sierra Nevada. It is often abundant on exposed branches that have lost their bark. Some insects change their appearance through evolution while others simply use lichens as a disguise. He used this against the Nogitsune that possessed Stiles Stilinski until the effects wore off. Photo by Doug Ladd. This species is somewhat toxic to mammals due to the yellow pigment vulpinic acid, and has been use… Teen Wolf Properties [edit | edit source] According to Dr. Deaton, wolf lichen can be used to poison a Nogitsune. Some Plateau Indian tribes used it as a poultice for swelling, bruises, sores, and boils, and boiled it as a drink to stop bleeding.  This species has an intermediate air pollution sensitivity. When mixed with another substance, such as pine sap or water, or burnt to ash first and used, lichens provide a variety of colors such as yellow, brown, green, orange, purple, and red. I found this one at 5000 feet. Some Native American tribes used wolf lichen for poisoned arrowheads, yet other tribes made tea out of it. Letharia vulpina, commonly known as the wolf lichen (although the species name vulpina, from vulpine relates to the fox), is a fruticose lichenized species of fungus in the family Parmeliaceae. Bryoria is a common genus of lichen across the United States. , The use of this species for poisoning wolves and foxes goes back at least hundreds of years, based on the mention of the practice in Christoph Gedner's "Of the use of curiosity", collected in Benjamin Stillingfleet, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Natural History, Husbandry and Physics (London, 1759). "Ground lichen" can also be used as a dye for clothing. It was also able to start photosynthesis while rewarming, still at below-zero temperatures (°C), suggesting that it may remain active during winter..  However, it is known that the lichen itself is also effective—powdered lichen added to fat and inserted into reindeer carcasses will also be fatal to wolves that consume it. The traditional medicinal uses of 52 lichen genera are summarized in this paper. Lichen was used … For example, lichens are used in deodorant, toothpaste, salves, extracts, and perfumes. L. vulpina occurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Wolf Lichen was also used for medicine. , Letharia growing with Bryoria sp. These dyes can be used for clothing or baskets. In times of hardship, some Native American tribes would eat this lichen while other tribes sought it out. Photo by Chantelle DeLay, U.S. Forest Service. Its dimensions are typically 2 to 7 cm (0.8 to 3 in) in diameter.  In the Rocky Mountains, Letharia species are found in ponderosa forests at the prairie-forest boundary at relatively low elevations though medium and high elevation Douglas fir and lodgepole pine forests. The brilliant fluorescent yellow color is seen growing on branches everywhere in the mountains. Visiting elk from Colorado ate this lichen, which caused tissue decay and eventual death. Magnified view (approximately 1 cm width) of a wolf lichen found near Mt Hood in Oregon.  It is also less branched than L. This species is somewhat toxic to mammals due to the yellow pigment vulpinic acid, and has been used historically as a poison for wolves and foxes. Humans use lichens for dyes, clothing, and decoration, but did you know that people also eat lichens? US Forest Service, FM-RM-VE
Wolf Lichen. This dye was used for coloring baskets. Some Plateau Indian tribes used wolf lichen as a poultice for swelling, bruises, sores, and boils, and boiled it as a drink to stop bleeding. Photo by Karen Dillman, U.S. Forest Service. The native elk were not affected, simply because their immune systems were already equipped to deal with this toxic lichen. In the past, wolf lichen mixed with ground glass and meat was used … Another poisonous lichen, Parmelia molliuscula (also known as "ground lichen"), was determined to be the cause of death for 300 elk in Wyoming in 2004. Kallio P, Heinonen S. (1971). Letharia vulpina (wolf lichen), a toxic lichen that was also used for tea and dye. For example, the wolf lichen got its name because it was used in Europe to poison wolves. Available online at, This page was last edited on 22 November 2020, at 13:12. Visiting elk from Colorado ate this lichen, which caused tissue decay and eventual death. It is bright yellow-green, shrubby and highly branched, and grows on the bark of living and dead conifers in parts of western and continental Europe, the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains of Western North America. It has also been used traditionally by many native North American ethnic groups as a pigment source for dyes and paints. Be careful, though, in what you use; a few people have been known to have allergic reactions to lichens, resulting in skin disorders. Examples include Lobaria pulmonaria, Parmelia saxatilis, Parmotrema, and Umbilicaria. Photo by Karen Dillman, U.S. Forest Service. It is bright yellow-green, shrubby and highly branched, and grows on the bark of living and dead conifers in parts of western and continental Europe, the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains of Western North America. Some Native American tribes used wolf lichen for poisoned arrowheads, yet other tribes made tea out of it. ", "Body plan evolution of ascomycetes, as inferred from an RNA polymerase II phylogeny", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Letharia_vulpina&oldid=990040651, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, CABI Bioscience Databases. Some lichens were fed to pets during hard times as well. In one set of experiments, the lichen was able to reactivate its metabolism after 15 hours of cold storage and resume photosynthesis within 12 minutes of thawing.  The vegetative reproductive structures soredia and isidia are present on the surface of the thalli, often abundantly. Photo by Beth Hawkins, courtesy of The Hummingbird Society. Another poisonous lichen, Parmelia molliuscula (also known as "ground lichen"), was determined to be the cause of death for 300 elk in Wyoming in 2004. This is another example of wildlife and plant life evolving with each other.