Lichens in the Garden

For its size, Wales may have the most diverse lichen population on Earth.

So it’s vital role for the National Botanic Garden of Wales to help our visitors understand and care for this amazing and complex life-form. We’re lucky to have a large variety of naturally occurring lichen here to help us – the clean air, and large variety of trees and rock surfaces means that over 200 lichen species have so far been recorded here, mainly by renowned lichenologists Alan Orange and Ray Woods

To help visitors explore our lichen flora, we’ve produced a couple of small booklets about lichen in the Garden, both written by Ray Woods and Theresa Greenaway – see the attachments on this page.

Tree Lichen highlights the 100+ lichen species that grow on our trees and shrubs.

Rock Lichen concentrates on the 70+ lichen that grow on our outdoor geological display – the Rock of Ages. You can see Ray Woods talking about rock lichen on the Rock of Ages webpages.

The Garden holds the British Lichen Society’s library collection – this is available to view on request to library@gardenofwales.org.uk

A mature goat tree, located downslope of the Wild Garden, holds a collection of rare Lobaria spp, tree lungworts and associates, which have been transplanted here from endangered sites from across Wales and Ireland. Begun in 2014, this is proving to be a highly successful method for helping to conserve rare lichen and is, we think, the only experiment of this kind in a European botanic garden.

Occasionally, we run lichen guided walks or feature lichens in exhibitions in our Oriel Yr Ardd Gallery – – we’ll post up details of these here when they arise.