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Ignace 2005

Ignace, M. (2005). Notes on Secwepemctsin names for lichens. Pers. comm. to S. Crawford. May 18, 2005.


Johnston 1970

Johnston, A. (1970). "Blackfoot Indian utilisation of the flora of the northwestern Great Plains." Economic Botany 24: 301-324.

Bryoria fremontii was used as a famine food by Blackfoot in western Montana. Blankinship, 1905, cited in Johnson (1970, 1982).

The Blackfoot used Letharia vulpina as a yellow dye for porcupine quills and called it e-simatch-sis (means dye, also applied to other plants). The quills were placed in boiling water along with the lichen. It was also used for a headache. McClintock (1910), Johnson (1970), Johnson (1982).


Johnston 1982

Johnston, A. (1982). "Plants and the Blackfoot." Provincial Museum of Alberta. Natural History Occasional Paper 4: 1-106.

Bryoria fremontii was used as a famine food by Blackfoot in western Montana. Blankinship, 1905, cited in Johnson (1970, 1982).

The Blackfoot used Letharia vulpina as a yellow dye for porcupine quills and called it e-simatch-sis (means dye, also applied to other plants). The quills were placed in boiling water along with the lichen. It was also used for a headache. McClintock (1910), Johnson (1970), Johnson (1982).

Gros Ventre dyed quills with a solution of L. vulpina, called the lichen otsahaa. This lichen was also known to the Cheyenne who called it he-ho-wa-ins’-tots. Johnson (1982).


Jones 2005

Jones, L. (2005). Notes on Lakota use of lichens. Pers. comm. to S. Crawford. May 19, 2005.


Kane 1846-48

Kane, P. (1846–48). Field Notes. Stark Museum of Art, Orange, TX: access. no. 11.85/5, n.d., n.p.


Karavaeb 1950

Karavaeb, M. H. (1950). "Lichens in perfumery and the prospect of their utilization in the USSR (translation of title)." Plantae Cryptogamae, Acta Instituti Botanici nomine V.L. Komarovii 6: 354-374.

All in Russian.

Mostly talks about Evernia furfuracea (L.) Ach. and Evernia prunastri Mann.

There are also small write-ups on Evernia thamnodes (Flot.) Arn.; Lobaria pulmonaria Hoffm.; the genus Ramalina; and Anaptychia ciliaris (L.) Koerb.

There also apears to be a passing mention of the genus Parmelia, as well as the species Evernia divaricata Ach., Evernia esorediosa D. R., Letharia vulpina Vain., Usnea articulata (L.) Hoffm.; Usnea florida (L.) Hoffm.; Usnea barbata (L.) Hoffm.; Bryopogon implexum Elenk.; Bryopogon chalybeiforme (L.) Elenk.; Cladonia rangiferina (L.) Web.; and Cladonia silvatica (L.) Hoffm.

When talking about Evernia prunastri, mentions the following names: Lichen prunastri Linn.; Parmelia prunastri Ach.; Lobaria prunastri Hoffm.; Physcia prunastri DC.

As well as the following lichens: Evernia prunastri: f. gracilis Ach.; f. sorediifera Ach.; f. vulgaris Koerb.; stictocera Ach.; var. retusa Ach.; var. sorediifera Ach.; var. stictocera Ach.;

When talking about Evernia furfuracea, mentions the following names: Parmelia furfuracea Ach.; Lichen furfuraceus Linn.; Pseudoevernia furfuracea Zopf. As well as the following other lichens: Pseudoevernia soralifera (E. soralifera Bitt.); Pseudoevernia olivetorina Zopf.; Pseudoevernia ceratea Zopf. (E. fufuracea var. ceratea Ach.); Pseudoevernia furfuracea (L.) Zopf; Pseudoevernia isidiophora Zopf

When talking about Lobaria pulmonaria, mentions the names: Lichen pulmonarius Linn.; Parmelia pulmonacea Ach.; Sticta pulmonacea Ach.; Lichen reticulatus Gilib.; and Dermatodea pulmonaria St.-Hil. As well as the following other lichens: Lobaria papillaria Tomin; Lobaria plotnikovii Tomin; and Lobaria laetevirens A. Z.

When talking about the genus Ramalina, mentions the following species: Ramalina farinacea (L.) Ach.; Ramalina pollinaria (Westr.) Ach.; Ramalina fraxinea (L.); and Ramalina calicaris (L.) Fr.

When talking about Anaptychia ciliaris, mentions the names: Physcia ciliaris L.; and Borrea ciliaris Ful. As well as the lichen species: Anaptychia intricata Mass.


Kari 1987

Kari, P. R. (1987). Tanaina Plantlore, Dena'ina k'et'una: An ethnobotany of the Dena'ina Indians of Southcentral Alaska. Anchorage, Alaska, US National Park Service, Alaska Region.


Kartnig 1980

Kartnig, T. (1980). "Cetraria islandica - Isländisches moos." Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 8: 127-130.

In German


Kauppi 1979

Kauppi, M. (1979). "The exploitation of Cladonia stellaris in Finland." Lichenologist 11(1): 85-89.


Cladonia stellaris is used ornamentally in wreaths, floral decorations, and architect’s models. Used to construct wreaths that are often placed on the graves of relatives on All Saints Day. Because of the durability of the lichen, these wreaths will last in good condition all winter. The lichen is also commonly used in floral decorations, especially at Christmas.

Also as forage for reindeer. It is abundant, uniform in colour, and looks pretty. It was previously used as a source of usnic acid, effective against gram-negative bacteria.

It may take more than a century to regain dominance after a fire (Scotter 1964, cited in Kauppi 1979). It is also quite sensitive to trampling.

Between 1970 and 1975 about 17,900 tonnes of Cladonia stellaris were exported from Scandanavia. The total value of the lichen export in this six year period was over £ 8 million. Of the amount exported, 83% was used in West Germany, but Denmark (10%), Austria (3%), Netherlands (1%), Switzerland (1%), U. S. A. (0.8%), Sweden (0.6%), France (0.4%), Italy (0.2%), Belgium (0.2%), and some other countries (0.5%) also imported the lichen. As well, a substantial quantity of the lichen is consumed domestically in Scandanavia.

Export began in 1910. A quality control act was introduced in 1931, and is now inforced by specially trained inspectors.

The lichen must be picked wet, so if it is dry the field is watered first. It is hand picked and the better lichens are placed in trays, dried, and then put into boxes to be shipped.

In good lichen forests, the returns from lichen can be many times that of the returns from the standing timber. In the 70’s, each year the lichen business in Finland would employ about 500 people full time, and about 1000 - 2000 people would get some income from it. On the island of Hailuoto, about one third of the total income was from lichen. Usually, about 50% of the income to the landowner, 25% in wages, and 25% for packaging, warehouse, transport, and administration.

If too much lichen is removed the production deteriorates. Lichen also being destroyed from other sources, clearcutting, gravel quarrying, trampling, etc. To maintain high production, only about 20% of the lichen should be removed at any one time, and sites should only be picked over 5-6 year intervals. Systematic management of lichen resources can maintain and even increase production.


Kawagoe 1925

Kawagoe, S. (1925). "The market fungi of Japan." Transactions of the British Mycological Society 10: 201-206.

Umbilicaria esculenta (formerly Gyrophora esculenta) is called Iwa-take by the Japanese. Iwa-take hunters will risk their lives to gather the lichen, because it usually only grows on cliff faces far in the mountains. The hunters will get in baskets that are lowered down the cliff face in order to pick the lichen. The market price for iwa-take is very high, and is only consumed as a delicacy in high class dinners.


Keddie 1988

Keddie, G. (1988). "The Kootenay lichen pounder." The Midden 20(1): 6-9.



Kennedy and Bouchard 1996

Kennedy, D. I. D. and R. Bouchard (1996). An Ethnographic Examination of "Last Chance" Land Use. Manuscript prepared for I.R. Wilson Consultants, Ltd. and The Alkali Lake Indian Band, on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Williams Lake Forest District.


Kok 1966

Kok, A. (1966). "A short history of the orchil dyes." Lichenologist 3: 248-272.



Kuhnlein and Turner 1991

Kuhnlein, H. V. and N. J. Turner (1991). Traditional Plant Foods of Canadian Indigenous Peoples: Nutrition, Botany and Use. Philadelphia, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.


Kumar et al. 1996

Kumar, S., A. H. Banskota and M. D. Manandhar (1996). "Isolation and identification of some chemical constituents of Parmelia nepalensis." Planta Medica 62: 93-94.

Parmelia nepalensis was extracted, and seven compounds were identified that were not previously known in this species.

Author reports that this lichen species is locally called "Kalo Jhyau", and is traditionally used to treat toothache, soreness of throat, and pain.

Also say it is called Jhoola or Charila in Ayurvedic medicine, and considered usedful in dyspepsia, spermatorrhoea, amenorrhoea, calculi, disease of blood and heart, stomach disorder, enlarged spleen, bronchitis, bleeding piles, scabies, leprosy, and excessive salivation.


Kurokawa 1984

Kurokawa, S. (1984). "Contributions to the lichenology by Dr. Masami Sato." Journal of Japanese Botany 59(11): 350-351.

In Japanese.

Obituary for M. Sato, who did lots of work on edible lichens.

Filed with obituary by Takasi Tuyama


Källman 1988

Källman, S. (1988). "Military survival: A physiological assessment of soldiers using wild plants for food during survival and evasion." Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 59: 81-85.

Fed soldiers pine needles and Bryoria for several days under very hard physical activity in the arctic and measured physiological changes in their bodies.


Lal and Rao 1956

Lal, B. M. and K. R. Rao (1956). "The food value of some Indian lichens." Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research 15(c): 71-73.

Reports ash, calcium, phosphorus, iron, eher extractives, Kjeldahl N, crude fibre, lichenin (isolichenin), ascorbic acid, and riboflavin for nine lichens: Parmelia cirrhata, Parmelia quercina, Parmelia tinctorum, Usnea orientalis, Usnea longissima, Usnea stirtoniana, Ramalina sinensis, Peltigera canina, and Roccella montagnei

A good portion of the ash is silica. Calcium and iron higher than that of cereals, comparable to green leafy materials. Calcium phosphorus ratio from 2 to 14, shows they could serve as a good source of calcium. Roccella montagnei contains isolichenin, others lichenin. Glucose sole hexose component of isolichenin and lichenin. Cetraria islandica polysaccarides consist mainly of d-glucose, with a bit of d-galactose and d-mannose. Cladonia aspestris has d-galactose, d-glucose, and d-mannose. Pustulin another lichen polysaccharide.

Pringsheim and Kusenack cited in Llano show lichen 2.64% ash. Wallerstein cited in Llano showed that white mice digested 53-64% of lichenin. Dannfelt cited in Llano found 1 to 8% protein in lichen. Ellis et al. failed to record Vitamen B in feeding experiments, but Lal shows considerable riboflavin.


Lal and Upreti 1995

Lal, B. M. and D. K. Upreti (1995). "Ethnobotanical notes on three Indian lichens." Lichenologist 27(1): 77-79.

Usnea longissima is called Syara by the Bhotia and Garhwali of the Garhwal Himalayans in India. It is used as a stuffing for pillows and cushions. But some people think that it causes asthma if used. This lichen is also used by the Baiga of Madhya Pradesh, India, along with some other ingredients, to treat bone fractures. Has usnic and barbatic acid.

Buellia subsoriroides is used by the Garhwali herdsmen of the Garhwal Himalayans in India. They call it maidi and use it as a substitute for henna for colouring fingertips and palms. They spit saliva on the lichen and start rubbing it with a small piece of rough stone to get a small amount of paste. this paste is applied to the fingertips and palms and left for 10 min, after which the paste is removed and the finger is stained orange-coloured. Has baeomycesic acid, norstictic acid, and atranorin.

Parmelia sancti-angeli is called Jhavila by the Gond and Oraon tribes of central India to treat a ring-worm like skin disease called Sem that causes white patches around the neck. About 30-50g of the fresh lichen is burned and the ash is mixed with either mustard (Brassica nigra) or linseed (Linum usitatissimum) oil and the paste then applied to the affected area. Has atranorin in the cortex and gyrophoric acid in the medulla.


Lange and Schippmann 1997

Lange, D. and U. Schippmann (1997). Trade survey of medicinal plants in Germany: a contribution to international plant species conservation. Bonn, Germany, Bundesamt für Naturschutz.


Lange 1957

Lange, O. L. (1957). "Die flechte Parmelia paraguariensis als Handelsware in der südlichen Sahara." Nature Und Volk 87: 266-273.

Translated from German:

Lange (1957) reported on how Parmelia paraguariensi is used as a tobacco in Mauritania after being imported from several hundred kilometers to the northwest where it grows.
   Maurita in the south Sahara is a dry desert area where it is regularly 48˚C.  Nomads come from far away to the market in the city of Atar to buy, sell, and chat.  At the market they sell food, millet, grain, melon, mint tea, bars of salt from a marsh, and buy sugar, spices, cuscus, camel and goat meat, and dates.
   Lange purchased a bag of Parmelia paraguariensi from a local vender for 10 Franken (20 cents).  The lichen was chopped up into little pieces so it looked like an herb, but the upper and lower surface, as well as apothecia and bits of bark were still apparent.  The lichen smelled strong like perfume and hot like pepper.  Lange thought it was quite because the merchant had very good business. Lange referred to the lichen as Duftfletche (fragrant lichen).  This may be a German translation of the Maure name for the lichen.
   To use the lichen, a Maure man crushes the lichen in his hand and mixes it with tobacco, one part lichen to ten parts tobacco.  He then packs it into a goat bone pipe and smokes it.  The Maure quite enjoy the smoke it but Lange thought that it must be an acquired taste.  The lichen has several other uses as well, but it is mainly used for its smell.  The women do not smoke the lichen, but they use it for a dry perfume.  They pulverize the lichen and use it like powder in their hair and dress.  Lange thought that this lichen is the source of the traditional Maurian smell.  The lichen is also used as an insect repellent.  It is light on fire in the house and the fragrant smoke drives insects away.
   Interestingly, the untreated lichen has no smell.  The lichen must be saturated with rose oil and other essences to give it the characteristic fragrance.  The lichen is probably used to carry the smell because it is so absorbent.
   Around Atar it is desert and there are only crust lichens around the area.  Parmelia paraguariensi does not grow anywhere within several hundred kilometers.  The merchant Lange purchased the lichen from said that he had to go 12 days camel ride north and 9 days camel ride west to reach the lichen.  This would be somewhere in the mountains of the Spanish Rio de Oro, which is about 750 km away. Parmelia paraguariensi is a very rare (but locally common) species of lichen, first found in 1893 in one spot in Paraguay, and later found at one site on the Ivory Coast.  Where the lichen is being collected is one of the few places in the world where it grows. Parmelia paraguariensi appears to be used a lot by the Maurians, which is amazing given how rare it is and how far away it grows.


Lee et al. 1977

Lee, E. B., H. S. Yun and W. S. Woo (1977). "Plants and animals used for fertility regulation in Korea." Korean Journal of Pharmacognosy 8(2): 81-88.

Usnea diffracta is used in Korea to induce menstruation. Author notes that a different species of Usnea is used in New Ireland to do the same thing. Gives the Korean name for the lichen, in Korean characters.


Lee 1966

Lee, S. J. (1966). Korean Folk Medicine. Seoul, Publishing Center of Seoul National University.


Leighton 1985

Leighton, A. L. (1985). "Wild plant use by the Woods Cree (Nihithawak) of east-central Saskatchewan." National Museum of Man Mercury Series No. 101.

Fish stew thickened with rock tripe were part of the older respondenst past and present diet, but were unknown to yourn adults encountered in 1979 and 1980.

Rock tripe was an exception to most plant foods, because it could be collected year round (most had seasons)

Actinogyra muhlenbergii called asiniwakon, eaten in soup, preperation and stories outlined Cladina alpestris called wapiskastaskamihk, atikomiciwin. Used medicinally for intestinal worms, preparation outlined Usnea sp. called mithapakwan, used medicinally for nosebleed, and as firestarter.


Lerman 1952-1954

Lerman, N. (1952–1954). Okanogan (Salish) Ethnology. Field Notes and Unpublished Manuscript, originally held by Melville Jacobs Collection, Univerisity of Washington Libraries (microfilmed and photoduplicated copy in British Columbia Indian Langage Project files, Victoria). Cited in Turner et al. 1980.


Lewis and Clark 1804-1806

Lewis, M. and W. Clark (1804–1806). Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. New York, Antiquarian Press Ltd.


Leão et al. 1997

Leão, A. M. A. C., D. F. Buchi, M. Iacomini, P. A. J. Gorin and M. B. M. Oliveira (1997). "Cytotoxic effect against HeLa cells of polysaccharides from the lichen Ramalina celastri." Journal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology 29(4): 503-509.



Lindley 1838

Lindley, J. (1838). Flora Medica, Originally published in London. Reprinted by Ajay Books Service, New Dehli, India, 1981.


Lipp 1995

Lipp, F. J. (1995). Ethnobotanical method and fact: A case study. Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline. R. E. Schultes and S. v. Reis. Portland, OR, Dioscorides Press: 52-59.


Llano 1944

Llano, G. A. (1944). "Economic uses of lichens." Economic Botany 2: 15-45.

A revision of the economic uses portion of his paper published in The Botanical Review.

Lichen starch used in chocolates, pastries, confectionaries, especially in France.

Numerous antibacterial compounds in lichens. Lichens generally show characteristic antibiotic properties depending on the area they were collected from.

Lichens are only harvested for domestic animals, but most Lapps have a goat and a cow in addition to their reindeer. The reindeer graze, and the Lapps keep the herds constantly on the move during the critical winter period. The Eskimo did not do this with the imported reindeer, and the US Department of Agriculture in Alaska reported in 1929 that there was serious lichen overgrazing from the imported reindeer. The reindeer crop the lichen close, but leave some, whereas the hand harvesting removes all of the thallus. The northern Scandanavians harvest more intensly than the Lapps, and depleted the lichen causing friction. One man can gather 50–100 kg of lichen a day, or 300 to 400 kg a day with impliments.

Alectoria jubata and Umbilicaria pennsylvanica have particularly higher protein than fat content out of lichen forages tested, 7.77% protein for Alectoria jubata and 6.27% protein for Umbilicaria pennsylvanica. This content varied with the season.

Rye and Cetraria islandica bread was used in northern Finland. Icelanders made the used of it, collecting great masses yearly. The flour of Cetraria islandica was used to make bread, gruel, porridge, salads, and jelly. Before use it was boiled in lye, rinsed with clear water, and dried, and then could be stored for many years. Cetraria nivalis was occasionally used in a similar manner. For bread first oven dried and ground fine. A quarter grain meal was added, and then it was baked like bread. Bread was strong, with a fair taste, and kept well. Lichen was mixed with elm cortex and grain and boiled in lots of water to make broth. For porridge, the container was filled a third with lichen and then boiled until thick. The top broth and scum was skimmed off and then it was salted to taste, cooled until hard, and eaten with or without milk. It could be redried in an oven and used as bread. To make gruel, 1 pound of finely cut lichen was added to 1.5 - 2 quarts of water and cooked until half the water had evaporated. It was strained and the filtrate could be flavoured with raisins or cinnamon. The residue was eaten as a salad with oil, egg yolk, and sugar. The hardened jelly of the lichen was mixed with lemon juice, sugar, chocolate, almonds.


Cetraria islandica used for tanning, astringent property (depsides) peculular to some species.

There was a booming industry in Sweden (Henneguy 1883, cited in Llano 1944), which crashed by 1884 do to exhaustion of local resources.

Cladonia rangiferina and Cetraria islandica have been found to yield up to 66% polysaccharides which are readily hydrolized to glucose and then almost completely fermented to alcohol. Lichen acids (like cetraric acid) may be present up to 11% of the dry weight, along with sodium chloride, and these may retard the process. Cladonia rangiferina can yeild 54.5% sugar which ferments to produce 176-282 cc of alcohol per kg of plant. Maximum returns are obtained by steaming lichens for one hour under 3 atmospheres pressure, adding 2.5% of 25% hydrochloric acid, resteaming for the same period of time and pressure, and finally neutralizing the product. Addition of H3PO4 can accelerate fermentation. A modification of adding 3:1 sulfuric acid: nitric acid produces a pentanitrate similar to cellulose nitrate, which, when gelatinized solvent, produced a substance resembling horn.

Bitter principal in Cladonia rangiferina or Cetraria islandica can be removed by soaking in water for 24 hours, or by adding potassium carbonate for quicker action. Boiling with lye, after which the lichen is thoroughly rinsed, is the usual method of preparation. Sometimes mixed with hot water and straw or meal and salted before fed to cattle. One kilo of Cladonia rangiferina (15-18% water) is considered equal to one third poor fodder or early grass. The lichen is found to contain 1-5%% protein, the rest carbohydrates and little or no albuman. Cetraria islandica has been known to yield 61% carbohydrates.

Experiments in the Kola Peninsula looking for alternative glucose sources for northern locations. Looking at 8 lichen species, found them to be rich in polyhexoses but little cellulose and pentosan. Two small factories in Kirovsk are producing molasses from lichen. Preliminary treatment with weak alkali to make lichen acids soluble. It is then hydrolized with dilute H2SO4, neutralized with chalk, and purified with activated charcoal to produce a molasses containing 65-70% glucose. But when the molasses was produced from Cladonia spp., especially Cladonia alpestris, it had an unknown bitter taste.

The Turks used Evernia prunastri for jelly. Evernia furfuracea was used by the Egyptians to preserve the odor of spices employed in embalming mummies. It was identified in one mummy 500-800BC.

Lichens were used in Siberia and Russia instead of hops. A byproduct of Lobaria pulmonaria was “a yellow, nearly insipid mucilage which may be eaten with salt”.

Lobaria pulmonaria used for tanning, astringent property (depsides) peculular to some species.

Parmelia abessinica is called rathipuvvu in India and is eaten, generally in a curry powder and medicinally.

Alectoria jubata and Umbilicaria pennsylvanica have particularly higher protein than fat content out of lichen forages tested, 7.77% protein for Alectoria jubata and 6.27% protein for Umbilicaria pennsylvanica. This content varied with the season.

Umbilicaria was eaten by Franklin, after boiling or soaking. But completely reading his report shows that at that time they were also boiling and eating the leather of their equipment, and the lichen had made them very sick.

Variolaria (Pertusaria spp.) is bitter and yields 18% lime and 29.4% oxalic acid, and was employed in France in the manufacture of the acid.


Llano 1956

Llano, G. A. (1956). "Utilization of lichens in the arctic and subarctic." Economic Botany 10: 267-392.



Low 1990

Low, T. (1990). Bush Medicine: A Pharmacopoeia of Natural Remedies. North Ryde, Collins/Angus & Robertson Publishers.

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