Gymnoderma lineare

Common Names:
rock gnome lichen
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Michael Kunz
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
CPC National Office

The conservation of Gymnoderma lineare is fully sponsored.
Michael Kunz contributed to this Plant Profile.


The rock gnome lichen is endemic to high elevations in the southern Appalachians and is the only North American member of the genus Gymnoderma. Gymnoderma lineare is found growing on rock faces in dense colonies usually less than one meter square in size. The species is recognized by the straps, or squamules, that protrude perpendicular to the rock face. The squamules are thin, blue-grey on top, white below and fade to black at the base. Black fruiting bodies may be found from July to September. However, the genetic identity of each colony is unknown and each may represent a single clone (Weakley, 1988). According to Hale (1979), G. lineare is one of the most unusual, endemic lichens in North America.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research