Official Lichen of Nova Scotia Announced

As of January 30th 2019, the Blue Felt Lichen (Pectina Plumba) has been declared the official provincial lichen of Nova Scotia! A poll was held by LichenNS that was met with 565 responses, resulting in a win for the Blue Felt Lichen.

Lichen is a symbiosis of alga or cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), called a photobiont, and a fungus, or mycobiont, that results in a structure that appears to be a single organism. Although lichen is not a well-known organism, it is extremely abundant in Nova Scotia. It is estimated that there are approximately 1000 species of lichen in the province, which is more than all species of mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles of Nova Scotia combined.

The Blue Felt Lichen is the only species of its genus present in North America, and most of the population is found in Nova Scotia with over 425 recorded sites containing the lichen. If you want to try and find some Blue Felt Lichen, it would be best to find a humid low-lying area with mature red maples, swamps, fresh waterways, or in upland hardwood stands close to the coastline. The lichen is commonly found on trees such as mature sugar maples, ash, yellow birch, poplar or eastern cedar.

Each province will be choosing their official provincial lichen and submit their choices to the Museum of Nature in Ottawa. The ultimate goal of this project is to combine research about each types of lichen into one paper, which will be published.