Graphis scripta s. str.


Graphis scripta s. str.

(L.) Ach. (1809) s. str.
Conservation Status
BLS Number
Taxon Photo
General Description

This is one of the two most common species  of the Graphis scripta s. lat. group, along with Graphis pulverulenta, characterised by the closed lirellae, with the discs not, or hardly, visible (see Neuwirth & Aptroot 2011, Kraichak et al. 2015). 


Thallus brownish, grey or white; uneven, cracked or smooth. Ascomata elongate, curved or sometimes branched the branches sometimes markedly parallel; ends of apothecia rounded, not forked; lirellae closed, to 10 mm long; discs invisible or visible only as a slit; true exciple black and often shiny, 15–40 μm thick, often with a narrow white thallus margin to 0.1 mm broad. Ascospores 6–8 per ascus, 5- to 13-septate, 20–63 × 5– 12 μm, the lumina elliptical, lentiform (or in old specimens irregular) in cross section. Thallus K–.

This is one of the two most common species of the Graphis scripta s. lat. group, along with G. pulverulenta; it occurs on a wide variety of tree species, also as a pioneer. Characterised by the closed lirellae, with the discs not, or hardly, visible. Typically with long serpentine lirellae. It can have slight thalline margins, but not as marked as in Graphis betulina.


A very common species, especially as a poineer species on young trees but also widespread on older trees.

Key to map date classes

Likely to be found through out the range of Graphis scripta s. lat.


Aptroot, A., Weerakoon, G., Cannon, P., Coppins, B., Sanderson, N. & Simkin, J. (2023). Ostropales: Graphidaceae, including the genera Allographa, Clandestinotrema, Crutarndina, Diploschistes, Fissurina, Graphis, Leucodecton, Phaeographis, Schizotrema, Thelotrema and Topeliopsis. Revisions of British and Irish Lichens 36: 1-23.

Kraichak, E., Lücking, R., Aptroot, A., Dornes, P., John, V., Lendemer, J.C., Nelsen, M.P., Neuwirth, G., Nutakki, A., Parnmen, S., Sohrabi, M., Tønsberg, T. & Lumbsch, H.T. (2015). Hidden diversity in the morphologically variable script lichen (Graphis scripta) complex (Ascomycota, Ostropales, Graphidaceae). Organisms, Diversity and Evolution 15: 447-458.

Neuwirth, G. & Aptroot, A. (2011). Recognition of four morphologically distinct species in the Graphis scripta complex in Europe. Herzogia 24: 207–230.

Text by Neil A Sanderson based on Aptroot et al (2023)