Canoe Trail Blaze?

Red Pyrenula lichen looks like a spray painted blaze along a canoe kayak trail in the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 2, 2020. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at

Throughout the Okefenokee grows all manner of lichens and mosses. These scaly fungi add texture and color to the swamp scenery. However, the colorful blotches of lichen can cause confusion along the canoe and kayak trails. Some species of lichen are bright red, like the Pyrenula or Herpothallon (Christmas Lichen), and appear as if spray-painted upon the trees, possibly mistaken as trail blazes! Other lichen patches are white, like the blazes I’ve seen along the Appalachian Trail.

Not my area of expertise, but I believe this is Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 4, 2020. ©

  • Schoettle, T., & van Couvering, L. . A Naturalist’s Guide to the Okefenokee Swamp (1st ed.). H. E. Taylor Schoettle, 2002.

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