Star Jelly Nostoc commune Vaucher ex Bornet & Flahault    
Kingdom Bacteria   >   Phylum Cyanobacteria   >   Class Cyanophyceae   >   Order Nostocales   >   Family Nostocaceae   >   Genus Nostoc   

Description:

Nostoc commune is a filamentous cyanobacterium that grows in a mucilaginous matrix. When wet, these colonies are jelly-like and green to dark green. As they dry they become papery and usually darken to dark green or nearly black. Even in terrestrial habitats, there are other species of cyanobacteria that will form macroscopic gelatinous colonies so microscopic examination is recommended to confirm identity.

Where to find:

Nostoc commune is most conspicuous on damp sandy or gravel surfaces. You can often find colonies along roadsides, in parking lots or under outdoor benches in plant nurseries. This species is probably found in every Maryland county.

There are 29 records in the project database.

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Star Jelly in Allegany Co., Maryland (5/8/2021). (c) johnbotany, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by John Hall. (MBP list)

Star Jelly in Baltimore Co., Maryland (10/31/2021). (c) johnbotany, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by John Hall. (MBP list)


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