It can be pulverized and applied to wounds as a herbal first aid poultice. Bearded Lichen (Usnea longissima Ach.) Photo by Karen Dillman, U.S. Forest Service. Old Man's Beard is one of several such names applied to a certain greenish-white, bushy, fruticose lichen growing abundantly here, dangling ten or more inches from tree branches, beardlike. Usnea (OOS-nay-uh or US-nay-uh) is a lichen, which is a symbiotic combination of an algae and a fungus. Common Names: Old Man’s Beard, Seaweed of the Mountain (Hawai’i), Fish Bone Beard Lichen, Tree Dandruff, Woman’s Long Hair. Usnea, pronounced ooze-nee-ah and better known as old man’s beard, is the long, lacy, greenish lichen that grows from tree trunks and branches in forests across New Hampshire and Vermont. It is commonly referred to as Old Man’s Beard and Beard Lichen, favoring to grow on trees rather than rocks as some of its lichen counterparts. Usnea is the generic and scientific name for several species of lichen in the family Parmeliaceae that are found throughout most of the world. It could also be simmered and drank like a tea, but I don’t find it particularly tasty. Common names include Old Man’s Beard, Blood Spattered Beard (um, yikes), beard moss (not a moss), and beard lichen. Parts Used: Whole Lichen. Its habitat is shrinking and instead of establishing itself via spores, parts of it break off and reestablish elsewhere. It favors damp woods, often growing on dead or dying trees. It often grows in long beard like strands, which is where it got the nicknames Old Man’s Beard and Beard Lichen. Family: Usneaceae. People also refer to usnea as “Old Man’s Beard.” For starters, it is a lichen you can find in many parts of the world. Botanical Name: Usnea spp. Usnea Tincture & Other Uses. Many similarly used species. Usnea longissima, old man’s beard. Some of its common names include Old Man’s Beard, Beard Lichen, Beard Moss, Moose Moss and Tree Moss (although it is not a moss). The common names pretty well describe the appearance of Usnea. You can see one below: That's the genus USNEA, but the species situation is too confused for me to be certain which species it is. Usnea has a number of uses. Usnea is not a parasite, like mistletoe can be, but is a lichen. It is a strong indicator species of air pollution. Lichens are a symbiosis of alga and fungus, producing its own food via the chlorophyll in the alga. It is considered by some to be one of nature’s most effective medicinals, by others as an excellent gauge of environmental pollution, and by still others as an indicator of true north. Usnea is a lichen that grows worldwide on the bark of trees, usually conifers, but can also be found on oak, hickory, walnut, and apple trees. Usnea spp. on an ancient Atlantic Oak in Kilberry, Argyll & Bute. Usnea has numerous medicinal, as well as food uses, which I will get to in a moment. It … This rare lichen hangs from a central stalk and can get up to several feet in length.