Welcome to the website of the
Ohio Moss and Lichen Association

 Lichen Guide Published by Ohio Division of Wildlife

Lichen Guide Cover

In mid-March, 2015, the Ohio Division of Wildlife published “Common Lichens of Ohio,” an 80-page booklet authored by OMLA co-founder Ray Showman, who is also the co-author of The Macrolichens of Ohio (2004). This is the 15th in a series of ODW nature guides, and the first such guide to focus on non-animal wildlife. While the heart of the booklet is descriptions of 56 lichen species, accompanied by photos contributed by several different OMLA members, it also includes material on lichen structure and reproduction, along with numerous descriptions of lichen and animal interactions. There is a brief essay entitled “Lichens, Moths and Bats” by Dr. David Wagner, the author of “Caterpillars of North America.”

The guide is free, and can be obtained (along with all the other ODW identification guides) at the ODW District 1 (Central Ohio) office at 1500 Dublin Road Columbus, Ohio 43215, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. Additional  contact info for ODW including an e-mail address that will probably also work for requests, can be accessed HERE (link).

2015 Dates to Remember

SUMMER FORAY: For the first time, we will do a two-day summer foray. We will visit Brown County, which is along the Ohio River, to the east of Cincinnati, and to the west of Adams County. The dates are JUNE 13 and 14.
There are 25 mosses and 65 lichens collected from the county.

FALL FORAY: The date(s) for the fall foray will be October 3, and possibly October 4. We will collect in Montgomery County (Dayton area).

Further details will follow.


Dr. James Lindemer, from the New York Botanical Garden, will be offering a beginning course on crustose lichens on April 24-26, at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System. This is an opportunity to learn how to identify one of the more difficult groups of lichens.

Information about the Advanced Naturalist Workshops can be seen HERE. For more information, contact Chris Bedel at 937-554-2880, ext. 11, or Bedel”at”cincymuseum.org. If you are interested, call soon! The course will fill up.


Dr. William Buck, New York Botanical Garden, will be offering a workshop on south Florida mosses March 9 – 11, 2015. For information, go to https://nc.fairchildgarden.org/moss-workshop. It is an opportunity to see mosses from subtropical regions.


OMLA sponsors illustration in Flora of North America

The Flora of North America Editorial Committee offered bryologists the opportunity to help defray publication costs by sponsoring illustrations for volume 27 or volume 28 of FNA. These are the two moss volumes, of which 27 was completed in 2007, 28 will appeared about mid 2014. Individuals and organizations sponsored one or more drawings, at a modest financial cost. Sponsors have their names acknowledged in the introductory chapter of Volume 28. OMLA has chosen to sponsor Ohio haircap moss, Polytrichastrum ohioense, the only illustrated taxon with “Ohio” in its name. We’re pleased to be able to help with such a worthy endeavor, and aqre enjoying seeing and using the new volume.

OMLA-sponsored illustration in Flora of North America

OMLA-sponsored illustration in Flora of North America

The Ohio Moss and Lichen Association (OMLA) is an informal group of people interested in the study of these cryptogams. OMLA was born from an organizational meeting of a number of naturalists and professional educators held in June, 2004 at the Gorman Nature Center.

OMLA founders at Gorman Nature Center June 2004

Founders meeting of OMLA at Gorman Nature Center in June, 2004.

Goals of the association include encouraging amateur and academic students in study of these organisms, expanding the knowledge of lichen and bryophyte distributions in Ohio, and gaining a better understanding of rare lichens and bryophytes in Ohio.

OMLA pursues these goals through workshops and field trips (forays). The first Fall Foray was a two-day field trip to the Edge of Appalachia preserve system in Adams County (October, 2004). This was such a success that one member asked “So what are we doing next weekend?” It was decided to have a two-day foray every fall. OMLA also does one-day forays.

The First OMLA Foray: Edge of Appalachia in October, 2004.

Ten years later at The Edge of Appalachia. October, 2014.

Ten years later at The Edge of Appalachia. October, 2014.

Sunday morning at Straight Creek Preserve, Pike County, Ohio.

Ten years later at Strait Creek Preserve, Pike County, Ohio. October, 2014.