Wolf Lichen: A Mysterious and Abundant Plant with Healing and Poisonous Properties

Category: Nature, Photosynthesis
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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Poisonous but also a healer. It is very abundant in Idaho but very scarce and hard to find in Scandinavia. Wolf Lichen is the name of this mysterious plant. It is one of many different types of lichen found in nature and varies in ways such as habitat, use, and appearance. Lichen is a slow-growing plant genus that is usually structured in a spindle or leaf like shape. Lichen is made up of two components; fungi and algae. (Hollering, J. 014) The Fungal aspect is present in that it contains Chitin in their cell walls, they produce hyphen, spore producing, it is multicultural, and that they deed on dead trees/plants . The algal component means they are eukaryote, are able to photosynthesis, and they have specialized tissues. (Thomas-Sucker, J. 2012) In Wolf Lichen and dead/dying trees form by symbiotic relationships. Symbiosis describes a close interaction between two organisms that benefits/harm at least one of the organisms. Sometimes symbiotic relationships can be beneficial, but can be sometimes harmful.

This symbiotic relationship is beneficial to one another, because if we did not have dead or dying plants we could never have Wolf Lichen(Hollering,J. 2014). Wolf Lichen also produces its own food in order for it to survive. To do so, it goes through photosynthetic processes. Photosynthesis starts with trapping the sun's energy in the form of sugar. Then the Wolf Lichen stores the resulting sugar in cells to form glucose for quick growth. Photosynthesis represents the beauty of the chemical process that takes six water molecules from the roots and six carbon dioxide molecules from the air and creates one sugar molecule.

If there was no such thing as photosynthesis there would be no life on earth as we know it. (aesthetic, J. , & Comma, C. 014) Lichen are categorized into three different kingdoms, which are Kingdom Fungi, Kingdom Protests, and Kingdom Moaner. One interesting fact about Wolf Lichen is they are able to shut down their metabolism during times when nutrition is scarce and also in freezing weather. Wolf Lichen typically grows less than a millimeter per year. There are a total of 287 different types of species of lichen of 68 genres, and a total of 8 different varieties in Idaho .

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According to recent research conducted by Dustin Shown, John Areola, and Braided Irishman on the Ph of lichen; Wolf Lichen, along with other lichen have a mean of approximately 4. 1 on the Ph scale. This means that Wolf Lichen have an acidic compound (See figure 1 at presentation). (Thomas-Sucker, J. 2012) Wolf Lichen is also named Lethargy. There are two types of Lethargy (L. ) that are not easily noticeable; L. vulpine and L. Columbian. These two species are very similar in many ways but also very different. L. vulpine is asexual and reproduces with sorehead, while L. Alumina is sexual and does not reproduce with sorehead. L. vulpine is the only lichen that is poisonous. (Hollering,J. 2014) Sorehead is a reproductive structure for lichens. Lichens can reproduce asexually and sexually. Sorehead is a powdery substance composed of fungal hyphen that wraps around contractible. Fungal hyphen make up the basic body structure of lichen. (Conrad,J. 2005) As Wolf Lichen can grow to the size of 1 CM. But can be as large as 12 CM. The branches are round and wrinkled when in very dry conditions. The color ranges from a light yellow-green to a dull yellow.

It will not grow in freezing temperatures. However; frost does not kill it, it Just stops growing. Once the weather is warmer the lichen will start growing and reproducing. Wolf Lichen is extremely sensitive to air pollution and will not grow in polluted areas. Wolf Lichen grows on dead trees and stumps. It grows more often on sunny sides of trees and rocks. It does not usually grow in coastal rain forests. (Conrad, J. 2005) In the past people have poisoned wolves and other animals with Wolf Lichen. Since the lichen is poisonous, it allowed the Coachman people in Northern California to use poison arrow heads.

Farmers in the past used pieces of meat, crushed glass, and inserted Wolf Lichen to poison the wolves and other animals that would bother their crops. (aesthetic, J. , & Comma, C. 2014) The lichen has vulpine acid in it which stops the respiratory systems of the animals. The glass is used to damage the intestines of the animals, so that the toxin could attack the body and kill the animals. Wolf Lichen is very poisonous, which made people have to use a mask so they wouldn't harm themselves. (ABA, N. 2011) Wolf Lichen was used as a yellow dye. This dye was used for coloring baskets.

Wolf Lichen was also used for medicine. Lichen was used to wash out wounds and cuts, curing their injuries. (Conrad, J. 2005) Statistics show that fifty percent of all lichen are known as an antibiotic. In the United States they used lichen for mouth, stomach, intestines, anus, vagina, nose, ear, and skin pain. While in Finland it was used for treating skin eruptions, skin wounds, and athlete's foot. (Hollering, J. 2014) In Scandinavia, Wolf Lichen is a rare species and are red-listed, which means that they are in danger of becoming extinct.

Wolf lichen used to be abundant in an area of Scandinavia called GarГenslaved, but after the years had passed, Wolf Lichen became scarce and harder to find. The Wolf Lichen was exploited and ruined, so trying to protect GarГenslaved against people who destroyed Wolf Lichen is one thing we can do to hopefully save the Wolf Lichen. Also Wolf Lichen is the most photographed lichen in GarГenslaved. The species are also located around Europe and all the way to North America. (ABA, N. 2011) Although Wolf lichen is scarce in Scandinavia it is very abundant in Idaho.

Wolf Lichen is found on most of the trees that are dying or already dead. Wolf Lichen is an indicator that helps people tell if trees or other plants are dead or dying. It can be found all over the town of McCall, Idaho, which is right next to Ponderosa State Park. Wolf Lichen helps the state park by letting them know what trees to cut down or to watch out for so it does not cause any damage to the people visiting or damage to the ecosystem. (Shoehorn, S. 001) Wolf Lichen is mostly found on twigs and stumps of most trees or plants. There are, however, lichen that is found on tree bark,and also houses and fence posts.

It sometimes begins on rocks. It usually grows in a thick, solid cover, around and on dead trees and limbs. It is more abundant in numerous habitats where sunlight is more commonly found. (Turner & Kindle, 1998) Overall, Wolf Lichen is a special type of lichen, not only is it poisonous and a healer, but it is the only type of lichen that contains poison. It is also categorized into three different types of Kingdoms which differentiates from all other lichens. Wolf Lichen has many uses. The way people used to use it is very different from how we use it today.

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Wolf Lichen: A Mysterious and Abundant Plant with Healing and Poisonous Properties. (2017, Nov 29). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/wolf-lichen/

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