Field Guides

Lichens of British Columbia by Trevor Goward et al (1994). Includes diagrams within the keys, illustrating the terminology used to differentiate between species. Incredibly useful and provided at no cost by the authors and the government of Canada.

Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest (Second Edition) by Bruce McCune and Linda Geiser (2009). Has color photos and easy to carry around in the field.

Lichens of North America by Irwin Brodo, Sylvia Sharnoff, Steven Sharnoff (2001). Extensive, includes many crustose species, photos are beautiful; too large and precious to carry in the field.

A Field Guide to Biological Soil Crusts of Western U.S. Drylands: Common Lichens and Bryophytes by Roger Rosentreter, Matthew Bowker, and Jayne Belnap (2008)

Key to the Lichen Genera of the Pacific Northwest by Bruce McCune (2010)

Macrolichens of the Northern Rockies by Bruce McCune and Trevor Goward (1995)

Photos of Different Lichen Species

Ways of Enlichenment Lichen Photogallery: focusing on the lichen flora of Western North America. The lichen are arranged by both phylogeny (order, family, genus) and by morphotype — the latter is an exceptional resource for folks who want to identify a lichen from the field and want to see similar types of lichen near each other, i.e. yellow crustose lichen.

Mushroom Observer: Here is where you can look at photos of different lichen, including photos of microscopic features such as ascospores, cephalodia, and pycnidia (!) and you can upload your own photos and location taken and get feedback or assistance identifying difficult lichen. Professional and amateur lichenologists rate what they think the appropriate identification of a species is, so the more information you can give the better.

Sharnoff’s Lichen photos: 6,300 photos of different lichen, with identification given, taken by Stephen and Sylvia Sharnoff, the photographers for the amazing book Lichens of North America.

CNALH: see bottom of page for further description.


Lichen Biology (Second Edition) edited by Thomas H. Nash (2008)


LIAS: a database of information for lichenized and non-lichenized Ascomycetes; particularly useful for definitions of terms not included in introductory mycology and lichenology tests.


North American Fungi (free); published by the Pacific Northwest Fungi Project.

Evansia; published by the American Bryological and Lichenological Society.

The Bryologist; published by the American Bryological and Lichenological Society.

The Lichenologist; published on behalf of the British Lichen Society.

Mycologia; published by the Mycological Society of America.

Government Documents

Bureau of Land Management’s Management Recommendations: Lichen; concerns status of many at-risk lichen species, currently nearly all of the lichen listed for management considerations are restricted to the west side of the Cascade Crest.

United States Forest Service’s National Lichens & Air Quality Database and Clearinghouse: gives information about why the USFS is using lichen to monitor air quality and ecosystem health, a bit about the USFS’s lichen surveys, and a database where you can access lists of lichen species, such as the list of epiphytic lichen at different sites in the Colville National Forest.

Other Lichen Flora Inventory Projects

The “Yosemite Unknown Flora Project” is similar in many ways to the Turnbull Lichens project; the Yosemite lichen inventory is targeting microhabitats that have a high diversity of lichen. Over 500 species are estimated to exist at Yosemite, however less than 100 species had been inventoried when the project began in 2007. The project will expand from a flora inventory into an air pollution and climate change monitoring project.

Lichen Herbaria Online

Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria – contains descriptions and images of different lichens species, taxonomical trees, current names and synonyms (more up to date that ITIS), and distribution maps of lichen that are held at different herbaria around the country.

Consortium of the Pacific Northwest Herbaria – our regional consortium, contains an extensive database of local herbaria specimens, and distribution maps. Many colleges in our region that are part of the consortium are still in the process of databasing and digitizing their specimens – a time consuming and costly process. If you are interested in volunteering to help finish getting EWU’s collection digitized, please contact the Dr. Robin O’Quinn, the director of the EWU Herbarium.