Welcome to the Ways of Enlichenment
Lichen Photogallery

Since the late 1990s, members of the Eastern Lichen Network have been working toward a lichen flora for eastern North America (http://www.nybg.org/bsci/lichens/eln/).

The Ways Lichen Photogallery is the first phase in a parallel flora project for the lichens of western North America, north to the Beaufort Sea, south to Baja, and east to the 105th meridian.

In its present form our gallery contains only photographs, albeit rather a lot of them: 11593 images of 2183 species in 397 genera.

Soon, however, we’ll begin the long work of adding other elements – genus accounts, species descriptions, identification keys, range maps – as we ramp up to an on-line flora.

Notwithstanding our focus on western North American lichens, we’ve opted to include some images of eastern lichens as well. Taking this approach will allow us to contextualize our genus and species accounts for the continent as a whole. More on this as the flora project unfolds.


The Ways Photogallery has four points of entry: (1) Alphabetic Index; (2) Phylogroup Index; (3) Morphogroup Index; and (4) Search.

(1) Alphabetic Index – Here you can find a full list of all the taxa we have images for. You may also browse through genera by clicking on the letters at the top of every page.

(2) Phylogroup Index – Here our lichen images are nested hierarchically like Russian dolls: each genus appears within its family, each family within its order, each order within its class, and each class within its phylum – a great way to get a feel for evolutionary relationships. Many thanks to Hodkinson 2012 for providing the framework for this schema.

(3) Morphogroup Index – Here the genera are grouped by general form, be it hair-like, leaf-like, script-like, or what have you. Clicking on a group name, either above the thumbnails or in the navigation bar at the top of the page, brings up a list of genera. The morphogroups, by the way, have mostly been adapted from Trevor Goward's forthcoming book on forest lichens of Northwest North America. Watch for it.

(4) Search – To skip straight to the images for a particular lichen genus or species, simply enter the name in the search bar at the top of the page.


The thumbnails often show only a small sampling of available images. They are chosen by the website to represent as much variation as possible. Click on the name above the thumbnails to see a larger selection. When you finally arrive at the page for a single species, you will see all available photos.

Gallery images come in two sizes: thumbnails and medium-size. Placing your mouse over a thumbnail image brings up the species name and pertinent notes. Clicking on it enlarges it. (Javascript is required.)

All photos have been vetted by Curtis Björk and/or Trevor Goward, except as otherwise indicated. Vouchers specimens are available for most critical species.

Images are copyrighted to the photographers. If you’d like to use our work, please let us know; more often than not you’ll find us happy to oblige.

The Ways of Enlichenment Lichen Photogallery is the brainchild of Curtis Björk and is produced by a set of Perl scripts maintained by Jason Hollinger. Glit$hes are inevitable. Please let us know if you find any: jason@waysofenlichenment.net.

Special thanks to Richard Droker, Chris Parrish and Troy McMullin for generously allowing us to post some of their beautiful images. Thanks also to the good people at University of British Columbia Beaty Biodiversity Museum for their support.


Number of taxa:
Number of photos:
Jason Hollinger6523
Curtis Björk4337
Troy McMullin401
Richard Droker172
Chris Parrish116
Toby Spribille20
Steve Sheehy19
Jeff Hollett4
Vitaly Charny1


(Gallery last updated 1 October 2019.)