Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

What They Are Not


Lichens are weird “things.” Wiki says they “arise” from algae or cyanobacteria (bluish bacteria also known as blue-green algae). And yet lichens are not algae, as such. They live and grow among the filaments of fungi, but they are not fungi.

They come in many different colours and forms. They may look like moss, and sometimes are even called moss (reindeer moss, Iceland moss), but they are not moss.

They may look like they have tiny leaves, but they are not plants.

They have no roots to absorb water or nutrients, but they manufacture their own nutrition through photosynthesis.

When they grow on plants (like on the bark of trees) they are not parasites. They “do their own thing,” just using the plant as support.

The lichens in this photo are on a large rock near the creek mentioned in my previous post – the one that is foaming at the mouth.


I liken the lichen to plants,

But then I look at them askance.

The algae have similar features,

But lichen are different creatures.



Some fungi look like them a bit,

But not everything is a fit,

Although they may look like a moss,

They’re not and I feel at a loss.



Organic creations they are,

Found throughout our nations afar,

With features distinct and unique,

These grew on a rock by the creek.



So just what they are, I don’t know,

But see how they put on a show,

And next time you’re hiking or biking,

You’ll likely encounter some lichen.


Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

24 thoughts on “What They Are Not

  1. A fun poem and nice photo, Anneli. I thought it was moss too, thanks for this information. 😎🇨🇦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting post, Anneli. I didn’t know much about it but always liked its shapes and colours. Nice ode to lichen too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I must say, haven’t thought a lot about lichen. But I should have!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the education and the fun poem, Anneli!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting, Anneli! Strange and amazing facts (and poem and photo).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So interesting. Anneli, your header is really neat!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the information and the great poem! I have never much considered the lichen.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very interesting post. If the reindeer eat them, maybe we could eat them too? Maybe they are very healthy?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lichenly! Awesome description!

    Liked by 1 person

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