Gardening friend K told me recently that ‘I went to Tarraleah on the weekend. I have shared a couple of pics – one of a lichen (?) that seems to grow mainly on the dead branches of live trees as well as other surfaces there but I know it is more widespread than just the highlands there. I will eventually google but maybe it is of interest to research?’
Where is Tarraleah? For those unfamiliar with Tasmania, it is a tiny town just off the highway about half way between Hobart in the south east and Queenstown on Tasmania’s west coast.
It was established in the days when hydro dams created massive man-made lakes and hydro power stations were built to provide electricity across Tasmania. I love this remote area and I am in awe of the engineering associated with the Tarraleah town and it’s power station. Here are a couple of my photos taken a few years ago, of the penstocks down the steep rugged hill where they enter the power station.
The landscape is stunningly beautiful. As the photos in those blog posts show, the temperate rainforest in the area is dense and rich with plant species. So I am not surprised that K loved what she saw there.
But K asked a question. Are these lichens in her photos? I don’t know but I suspect it is highly likely. Wikipedia shows photos of a diverse range of lichens as does a website devoted to Tasmanian lichens here. What extraordinary diversity! The plant labelled the Usnea species looks like the one in K’s photo near the beginning of this blog post but whether this is a correct identification I cannot say. Perhaps a blog follower knows their lichens and can provide clear information?