Pycnothelia papillaria Dufour

A small, very characteristic, easily recognized lichen closely related to Cladonia. In phytocoenological literature, it is often considered a diagnostic species of certain types of relic forest communities. It is, however, often found only in juvenile stages or is underdeveloped because of regular trampling (forms papillosa or molariformis; Suza 1946).

Pycnothelia papillaria is a species of initial succession stages on bare acidic sandy, clayey or gravel soil on open stands. It often grows together with Dibaeis baeomyces or Cladonia strepsilis. Typically, it is found in heathlands, sandbanks, rock outcrops in relic open forests (such as relic pine forests or acidophilous oak forests). Generally, it grows on soil with minimal competition from vascular plants, either due to extreme soil conditions or occasional disturbances. It may grow on anthropogenic substrates with slow succession, such as heap piles rich in heavy metals, e.g., in the Krušné hory Mts.

In Europe, the lichen is widely distributed, but only locally present. In the Czech Republic, it is quite rare, but might also be overlooked, mainly in natural habitats. Compared to the half of the last century (see the map in Suza 1946), it has declined or disappeared from many localities, mainly due to the decline and degradation of heathlands.

Literature: Koerber G. W. [Körber G. W.] (1855): Systema Lichenum Germaniae. Die Flechten Deutschlands (insbesondere Schlesiens), mikroskopisch geprüft, kritisch gesichtet, charakteristisch beschrieben und systematisch geordnet. – Trewendt & Granier, Breslau. Suza J. (1946): K lichenologickému rázu středoevropských vřesovin, především xerothermních obvodů. – Věstník Královské české společnosti nauk, 1944/18: 1–35.

taxonomic classification:

Ascomycota Lecanoromycetes Lecanorales Cladoniaceae Pycnothelia

Red List (Liška & Palice 2010):VU – vulnerable
Red List (Malíček 2023):C3 – endangered

Occurrence in the Czech Republic

All records: 64, confirmed 53. One click on a selected square displays particular record(s), including their source(s).


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Altitude preferences

Distribution Timeline

Substrate type

Substrate preferences

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