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The British Soldiers or Cladonia Cristatella

Updated on October 24, 2016

Cladonia cristatella Photos

The British Soldiers or Cladonia Cristatella
The British Soldiers or Cladonia Cristatella | Source

Matchstick Moss

The British Soldiers, or Cladonia cristatella, are showing off their red caps and uniforms as they come into bloom and I am smiling every time I see one. I am not sure that it is considered blooming, but they certainly are showing off their colors.

I have loved the British Soldiers ever since I first learned about them as a child and they still have that feel good affect on me. My Dad used to call it Matchstick Moss as well because of the way it can look like a matchstick with its red head. I had actually forgotten about that until a few years ago.

Wildlife and nature photography is never boring, and almost always rewarding as long as there is light. Its macro-photography that really brings things to life with close up images.

Nature Photography

An algae and a fungus photo
An algae and a fungus photo | Source

Live British Soldier Cladonia Cristatella Lichen

Appalachian Emporium's Live British Soldier Cladonia Cristatella Lichen for Terrariums Gardens Bonsai 5 Pack
Appalachian Emporium's Live British Soldier Cladonia Cristatella Lichen for Terrariums Gardens Bonsai 5 Pack

I was delighted to find that we can purchase live British Soldier Cladonia Cristatella Lichen on Amazon. I really just now discovered it and wanted to give my readers a chance to check out for themselves.

The Soldiers are tiny, but oh so bright red and add a little color to any garden.

 

Both an algae and a fungus!

British Soldiers are a lichen that is made up of two different species that have united together in a kind of symbiotic relationship. An algae and a fungus form together to create an organism that is different from each individual. Both can live independently of the other, but when they join together, something special happens and British Soldiers are created.

The name of this lichen comes from how the red part, which produces spores, looks like the red caps of the British soldiers uniforms during the American Revolutionary War. I would say that whoever named it was quite creative and gave these little gems a very fitting name.

I am always pleased to see the tiny red caps of the Soldiers in my rock gardens.

Photo of Frutose Lichen

Frutose Lichen
Frutose Lichen | Source

One Question For You!

Have you seen British Soldiers before?

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Frutose Lichen Found In Nature

I see the British Soldiers showing up in a variety of places. They are small, but do stand out when flashing their bright red color and they do stand up, which tells us that they are a type of lichen referred to as a frutose lichen, which is characterized by bright colors and either hanging down or standing up. It can grow right on the ground, on pieces of bark, stumps, and other dead wood. It can also be found growing on rocks. British Soldiers often shows up anywhere moss may be, I suppose they both have some similar nutritional needs. I have noticed that it grows very slowly, so if you see a larger colony in the wild, you can count yourself as very fortunate.

Red Caps On Lichen

British Soldiers Macro-Photography
British Soldiers Macro-Photography | Source

The British Soldiers. YouTube video below shows some great nature photography and has a catchy tune for your listening and viewing pleasure. Really, I am not the only one who loves and appreciates Cladonia cristatella.

Cladonia cristatella - fungi kingdom YouTube video

I Use A Canon Powershot Camera for Macro-photogrpahy

I had never taken pictures of the British Soldiers before and it was a bit of a challenge due to their small size, but I am delighted with the results and am enjoying seeing them in more detail. I use a cheap little digital Canon Powershot Camera.

Canon Powershot

Canon Powershot SX530 HS 16MP Wi-Fi Super-Zoom Digital Camera 50x Optical Zoom Ultimate Bundle Includes Deluxe Camera Bag, 32GB Memory Cards, Extra Battery, Tripod, Card Reader, HDMI Cable & More
Canon Powershot SX530 HS 16MP Wi-Fi Super-Zoom Digital Camera 50x Optical Zoom Ultimate Bundle Includes Deluxe Camera Bag, 32GB Memory Cards, Extra Battery, Tripod, Card Reader, HDMI Cable & More

I like all the extras that come in the Canon Powershot bundle, it is every thing anyone would need to get started taking photos. The lens for close ups photos is prefect for macro-photography.

I also love the small size of these cameras, because they can fit right into my pocket easily, or into my purse for handy use. I never know when I will be able to take the next shot and capture natural wonders in nature. It can really be a wild life living in the country with forests all around me.

 

Close Up Images Help To See Small Subjects

Source

Please do leave a comment - Kudos!

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    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 9 months ago from Minnesota

      Peggy, I need to get outside today since its a sunny day for a change and get some gardens cut back and ready for spring again. Take it easy, its too easy to injure the back and it can be too painful sometimes. - Kudos!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 9 months ago from Minnesota

      Sandy, I am amazed by what nature can do. Something so unique can be missed just because it is so tiny. Thanks for coming by. - Kudos.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 10 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      I can understand the aching back when doing heavy work in a garden or yard. We will probably be trimming our shrubbery in the backyard today and do some weeding, etc. Sore muscles ahead! Ha! It is wonderful that your Mom is still tending her gardens. I will bet that it brings her great pleasure.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 10 months ago from Minnesota

      Peggy, thank you for sharing a little about your Grandfather. Its wonderful to see my Mom able to tend the gardens in her later years, she enjoys it so much. Then she wonders why her back gets sore. - Kudos

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 10 months ago from Frozen Tundra

      Such an interesting plant.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 10 months ago from Minnesota

      Thank you for coming by to visit, Au fait. I certainly do admire you as a writer on HubPages. - Kudos!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 11 months ago from North Texas

      Very interesting, and a great little video. I don't think I've ever seen or heard of this before. It really is amazing what diversity there is in nature.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      My grandfather was the one who had the time to point out the little special things with regard to nature. In the Wisconsin summer months he was always out in his garden tending his flowers and vegetables. In later years when he no longer had a huge garden he lovingly tended his roses. Giving this a tweet!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 12 months ago from Minnesota

      Peggy, I have such fond childhood memories with my Dad teaching me about the little things in life. It was a pleasure to share this on HubPages. Thank you for visiting my nature article. - Kudos!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 12 months ago from Minnesota

      Dianna, thank for checking out the algae/fungus hub. Nature is so interesting and to learn about, I love it. - Kudos!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      Your macro-photography of the Cladonia Cristatella or British Soldiers is wonderful! I can see why your Dad called it Matchstick Moss. I do not ever remember seeing any in the wild. Will be on the lookout for it from now on! Happy to share this with others.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 12 months ago

      I was expecting something quite different from reading your title. This is very clever! I have not seen this algae/fungus but I enjoyed reading about it.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 12 months ago from Minnesota

      Hi Matt. I'm glad you enjoyed the British Soldiers. I have such fond memories of them since childhood because of Dad always being there to teach me something new. - Kudos

    • Matt Easterbrook5 profile image

      Matthew A Easterbrook 12 months ago from Oregon

      Great photos and hub. I really enjoyed it all. Thanks for sharing Colorfulone.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 12 months ago from Minnesota

      Flourish, You are my fist visitor to my new hub. I was surprised to see a guest had already stopped by to check out the British Soldiers. I thought the title might get some people of guard. - Kudos!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

      How neat! I saw the title and mistakenly assumed this was a history hub! Glad to learn about this interesting algae and fungus.