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Alectoria ochroleuca

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[“Green witch’s hair”]

FOLK NAMES: Tingaujaq [name also applied to other “caribou moss”, Alectoria nigricans, Bryocaulon divergens, and Bryoria nitidula] (Barrens-Keewatin, Baffin Island, Ungava-Labrador, and Greenland Inuit)

USES: Animal feed (Barrens-Keewatin, Baffin Island, Ungava-Labrador, and Greenland Inuit), Molasses (northern Russia).

Alectoria ochroleuca, Alectoria nigricans, Bryocaulon divergens, and Bryoria nitidula were called Tingaujaq by the Barrens-Keewatin, Baffin Island, Ungava-Labrador, and Greenland Inuit of the North American arctic (Wilson, 1979). These lichens were known to be the favorite food of young caribou, and children would use them to lure in fawns so that they could touch them (Wilson, 1979).

Alectoria ochroleuca, along with several other lichens, has also been used to produce molasses in northern Russia. SEE: Cladina spp. for further notes on using lichens for molasses.

Alectoria ochroleuca contains usnic acid (Brodo and Hawksworth 1977), which is known to be one of the stronger lichen antibiotics (Lauterwein et al. 1995). It may also contain alectoronic acid, chloroatranorin, barbatic acid, diffractaic acid, and thamnolic acid (Brodo and Hawksworth 1977).

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