Cali Likes a Lichen

 Photo by Shelly Benson

Photo by Shelly Benson

CALI LIKES A LICHEN

Among new California state laws taking effect at the beginning of 2016 was one designating lace lichen as the official lichen of California. The organism joins a list of more 30 officially designated state symbols, including the redwood tree, California poppy, purple needlegrass and of course, the California dogface butterfly.

Why go to the trouble of picking a state lichen, or a state bird, or fish, or reptile? I talked to some super-stoked lichenologists to find out.

This story aired on KCRW's "All Things Considered" in 2016.