Crinkled Snow Lichen - Inuktitut Name - Nirnait

in Fungi Lovers3 months ago


Crinkled Snow lichen (Flavocetraria nivalis) is a medium sized bushy lichenized fungi with flat, lobes with crinkled edges. It is a pale yellow/ivory in color which in larger batches can look a bit like patches of show, which lends itself to its name. Traditionally, this lichen is used in tea to treat various illnesses but is not edible to humans. Caribou on the other hand eat it readily as part of their winter diet where the snow has been stripped thin by the blowing wind allowing easy access to this plant with a few scuffs of the hoof.


Snow Lichen is part of the Parmeliaceae family, with almost all members having a symbiotic relationship with a green algae. The Snow lichen is a fruticose lichen which means they differ from most other species because they attach to the ground only at the base of the lichen. If the color of the thallus is lighter it is usually associated with lower light levels on the lichen. With Snow covering this wonderful plant for 8 months of the year it's no wonder that this plant is an ivory white that sometimes can have a green tinge to it.


The Inuit name for Crinkled Snow Lichen is Nirnait (ᓂᕐᓇᐃᑦ) it was traditionally used in teas to cure ailments, but I am struggling to find information on which ailment. It was used by healers as a cure for eye infections. Which was made by boiling the lichen until the water turned black, then allowing it to cool and drinking the liquid.


All photos are my own, taken by myself. They are taken using a Nikon P900 and a Samsung S20. Consider checking out my website, Midnight Sunsets. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram!



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It's valuable information that he gives us. Interesting medicinal use of the fungus. Thank you for educating the community. Greetings from Venezuela.

a nice captures -- that is a photo-friendly lichen.
and I didnt know it can have some medicinal use!
ps. lichens and mushrooms often go well together, I hope you will have awesome fungi fotos to share with us, next time!

wow, great photos, congratulations.