This rock on top of Table Mountain bears a variety of lichens on its surface, differing in colour and texture.
Some spreading, flat, surface-hugging types resemble coats of paint and range from white to black. A pale greenish, leafy one, common in many parts of the country, curls up like peeling paint requiring attention. The fluffy, yellow-brown, beard-like growths are also lichen, as are the small, red-brown spots adding brightness.
There is a checklist of South African lichen, as well as a herbarium collection for study with SANBI, for those wanting to explore these fascinating living entities.
Every lichen lives in interdependent partnership, stuck to some surface on earth, a binary organism that always comprises both a particular fungus and an alga (https://journals.abcjournal.aosis.co.za; www.kariega.co.za).