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Princeton University Press

Lichenpedia: A Brief Compendium by Kay Hurley

Lichenpedia: A Brief Compendium by Kay Hurley

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An illustrated mini-encyclopaedia about the weird and wonderful world of lichens

Lichenpedia is a delightfully entertaining and beautifully illustrated A–Z treasury about the strange, obscure, and remarkable world of lichens, from their unique and essential roles in nature and the ways they are used in dyeing, brewing, and drug-making to how they have inspired writers and artists, from Henry David Thoreau to modern painters.

In 100 brief entries written in a vivid, lively style, Kay Hurley introduces key aspects of lichen biology, environmental roles, emerging uses, scientific history, and myth. She describes the variety of forms that lichens take, from leafy to filamentous to things reminiscent of skin diseases, with imaginative names like witch’s hair. She explains the surprising ways that birds and beasts―from reindeer and moose down to tiny tardigrades―use lichens, and how lichens survive in extreme environments, from deserts to Antarctica to outer space. Hurley also introduces some of the innovators who have advanced the knowledge of lichens, from the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus to today’s professional lichenologists.

With charming drawings by Susan Adele Edwards, 
Lichenpedia promises to put you in touch with the natural world in a new way by opening your eyes to these vital organisms, which are all around us, hidden in plain sight.

  • Features a cloth cover with an elaborate foil-stamped design
  • Hardback 192 pages, 47 b/w illus.
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