Umbilicaria hyperborea (Ach.)


Known commonly in English as Blistered Rock Tripe or Navel Lichen and Ombilicaire hyperboréenne in French, Swales encountered this member of the Umbilicariaceae family "on rocks with slight flow of water over the surface" while travelling through Harrington Harbour in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec in July 1966. Navel Lichens are found across rocky surfaces in boreal and alpine environments.

The common English name, Navel Lichen, comes from the way Umbilicaria hyperborea attaches to rocky surfaces. Known as umbilicate lichens, Navel Lichens have a central point that holds fast to rocks rather than fungal strands known as Rhizines. Attached in the center to the rock, these lichens resemble a newborn's umbilical cord.