Rock tripe

Rock tripe is the common name for various lichens of the genus Umbilicaria that grow on rocks. They can be found throughout northern parts of North America such as New England and the Rocky Mountains. They are edible when properly prepared and have been used as a famine food in extreme cases when other food sources were unavailable, as by early American northern explorers.

Rock tripe
Umbilicaria growing on a rock
Scientific classification

Umbilicaria americana (Frosted rock tripe)
Umbilicaria angulata
Umbilicaria aprina
Umbilicaria arctica
Umbilicaria caroliniana
Umbilicaria cinereorufescens
Umbilicaria crustulosa
Umbilicaria cylindrica
Umbilicaria decussata
Umbilicaria deusta
Umbilicaria esculenta
Umbilicaria havaasii
Umbilicaria hirsuta
Umbilicaria hyperborea (Blistered rock tripe)
Umbilicaria krascheninnikovii (Salty rock tripe )
Umbilicaria lambii
Umbilicaria leiocarpa
Umbilicaria lyngei
Umbilicaria mammulata
Umbilicaria muehlenbergii
Umbilicaria nylanderiana
Umbilicaria phaea
Umbilicaria polyphylla
Umbilicaria polyrrhiza
Umbilicaria proboscidea
Umbilicaria rigida
Umbilicaria scholanderi
Umbilicaria terrefacta
Umbilicaria vellea (Alpine rock tripe)
Umbilicaria virginis

Umbilicaria esculenta is commonly used as a food in Asian cuisine and a restorative medicine in traditional Chinese medicine. It is called shi'er (石耳 "rock ear") in Chinese cuisine, iwatake (岩茸 "rock mushroom") in Japanese cuisine, and seogi (석이버섯) in Korean cuisine.


  • "Umbilicaria". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 23, 2005.

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