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Cryptogams (not to be confused with cryptograms) are organisms that reproduce with spores. This group includes fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, algae, liverworts,etc. They have no true flowers or seeds.


Since reaching the stage of young forest, we have observed a profusion of beautiful and intriguing fungi. Biologists say they have characteristics of both plants and animals. We know fungi play a role in decomposing dead wood into natural elements that support future organisms. Their appearance seems spontaneous and opportunistic. We want to design a program to study and document the role of our fungi population in local ecology and biodiversity. 


We have several lichen colonies at Wildergarden. They are a combination of fungi and algae. We intend to research the biological significance of the lichen present here. They are known to remove substances from the atmosphere around them and therefore serve as indicators of air quality.

Click HERE for further information on the connection between lichen and air quality

Click HERE to learn what the US Forest Service has to say about lichens.


Moss is soft to the touch but adds value in nature. For example, it insulates bare soil and provides moisture for other plants. It furnishes energy from photosynthesis in shade conditions.

Examples of Cryptogams found at Wildergarden: