Lichen quiz

Cartoon of a scientistTest your knowledge of lichens with our quiz

Did Roman emperors dye their clothes with lichens? Can lichens help us smell sweeter for longer?

Decide which of the statements below are true and which are false. Check your score at the end. How many did you get right?

1. Lichens grow less than 1cm per year.

2. A lichen is actually two types of organism living together.

3. Most lichens grow in one of three forms: crusty, leafy and shrubby.

4. Growth of lichens on trees is encouraged by ivy.

5. Golden leafy Xanthoria is a good indicator of clean air.

6. The most prized purple dye for the robes of Roman emperors was extracted from lichens.

7. Lichens are colonisers and one of the first forms of life to appear on bare rock, for example after earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

8. Extract of Oak Moss lichen (Evernia prunastri) is used in the perfume industry.

9. Lichens cannot tolerate salty water.

10. Eagles Claw lichen (Anaptychia ciliaris) is becoming rampant in our cities.

How did you do?

  • 9-10 correct - Fantastic. Are you a lichenologist?
  • 5-8 correct - Pretty good. Why not learn more about lichens by taking part in the OPAL Air Survey?
  • 1-4 correct - Good try. You can improve your knowledge of lichens by taking part in the OPAL Air Survey.
  • 0 correct - The only way is up! Try again and see how many answers you remember.