Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various widely distributed lichens of the genus Usnea, characterized by a gray pendulous thallus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lichen of the genus Usnea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of lichens, most of the species of which have long, gray, pendulous, and finely branched fronds. Usnea barbata is the common bearded lichen which grows on branches of trees in northern forests.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small genus of gymnocarpous parmeliaceous lichens, typical of the family Usneëi.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. widely distributed lichens usually having a greyish or yellow pendulous freely branched thallus

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Arabic 'ušna, moss; akin to Persian ušna.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Arabic أشْنَة (’úshna, "moss").

Examples

  • The tree heathers include Phillippia trimera, P. kingaensis, P. phillippia and P. johnstonii, some up to 20 m high and most are draped with usnea lichen.

    Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda

  • Another powerful herb with antibiotic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, usnea is used internally or externally against bacterial, fungal, or viral infections.

    Matthew Stein: When a Superbug Strikes Close to Home, How Can You Deal With it?

  • Yes, Carrie, I'm taking the echinacea/goldenseal/usnea/vitamin C cocktail at least twice a day -- it may be keeping me going.

    Freaking Freezing Hangovers

  • All day the sun has shone on the surface of some savage swamp, where the single spruce stands hung with usnea lichens, and small hawks circulate above, and the chickadee lisps amid the evergreens, and the partridge and rabbit skulk beneath; but now a more dismal and fitting day dawns, and a different race of creatures awakes to express the meaning of Nature there.

    Walden

  • We camped in a boggy hollow on a bluff among scraggy, usnea-bearded spruces.

    Travels in Alaska

  • The principal forest-trees are hemlock, spruce, and Nootka cypress, with a few pines (P. contorta) on the margin of the meadow, some of them nearly a hundred feet high, draped with gray usnea, the bark also gray with scale lichens.

    Travels in Alaska

  • "I love to see occasionally," he adds, "a man from whom the usnea (lichen) hangs as gracefully as from a spruce."

    Oldport Days

  • The most primitive places left with us are the swamps, where the spruce still grows shaggy with usnea.

    The Maine Woods

  • The Indian said that the usnea lichen which we saw hanging from the trees was called chorchorque.

    The Maine Woods

  • All day the sun has shone on the surface of some savage swamp, where the single spruce stands hung with usnea lichens, and small hawks circulate above, and the chicadee lisps amid the evergreens, and the partridge and rabbit skulk beneath; but now a more dismal and fitting day dawns, and a different race of creatures awakes to express the meaning of Nature there.

    Walden, or Life in the woods

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