Showing posts from September 24, 2017

Nature Detective: What is this moss hanging from the tree? It is not Spanish Moss. It's Old Man's Beard (Usnea)

The pale green lichen in the  Usnea "ooze-ne-a"  f amily ,  also known as Old Man’s Beard, can easily be spied hanging in tree branches around the Adirondacks. I Its green lacy tuffs remind me of the Lorax and the Truffula trees and as Dr. Seuss says, "Truffula trees are what everyone needs."   Did you know? • lichens are not really plants but a blending of two separate organisms: fungus and algae. • It is commonly known as a tree moss or beard moss.  • It is sometimes confused with Spanish moss, which is not found in the Adirondacks. • Usnea was used a  respiratory antibiotic since 1600 B.C    • Important in ancient Greek and Chinese medicine • Has anti-microbial properties so can be directly applied to an open wound to stave off infection.  • Make a tea or tincture out of it to treat lung infections.  • Has been used to combat tuberculosis in studies. Identify •A white, stretchy, thin cord can be found when you pull the Old Man's Be