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Rock tripe

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BlueRidgeKitties
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A close-up of "rock tripe" fungus

Rock tripe is the common name for various lichens of the genus Umbilicaria that grow on rocks. They are widely distributed, including on bare rock in Antarctica, and throughout northern parts of North America such as New England and the Rocky Mountains. They are edible when properly prepared (soaking for hours to remove bitterness and purgative properties). They have been used as a famine food in extreme cases when other food sources were unavailable, as by early American northern explorers

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.