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Witch’s hair lichens

Bryoria sp., Alectoria sp.

In the old days, lichens were dried and ground into flour. Such flour could be mixed with other types of flour and used for baking bread or blood sausages, or added to soup.

Just like beard lichens, horsehair lichens grow on trees. They are hanging lichens with hair-like branches, and they grow as long as 30 cm. Horsehair lichens are very similar to beard lichens but lack a central cord. The horsehair lichens that are common in Northern Finland include the rather light-coloured witch’s hair (Alectoria sarmentosa) and the pale-footed horsehair lichen (Bryoria fuscescens).