Umbilicaria esculenta

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Umbilicaria esculenta
Umbilicaria esculenta - National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo - DSC07573.JPG
Scientific classification
U. esculenta
Binomial name
Umbilicaria esculenta
(Miyoshi) Minks

Umbilicaria esculenta is a lichen of the genus Umbilicaria that grows on rocks, also known as rock tripe. It can be found in East Asia including in China, Japan, and Korea. It is edible when properly prepared and has been used as a food source and medicine. It is called iwatake (kanji: 岩茸 or 石茸) in Japanese and seogi (hangul: 석이; hanja: 石耳; literally "stone ear" or "rock ear") or seogi beoseot (hangul: 석이버섯; literally "stone ear mushroom") in Korean. The species name is based on the earlier basionym Gyrophora esculenta.

In vitro antiviral activity[edit]

Polysaccharides from the lichen have been shown to inhibit replication of the HIV virus in laboratory tests.[1]


  1. ^ Hirabayashi K, Iwata S, Ito M, Shigeta S, Narui T, Mori T, et al. (1989). "Inhibitory effect of a lichen polysaccharide sulfate, GE-3-S, on the replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in vitro". Chem Pharm Bull. 37 (9): 2410–2. doi:10.1248/cpb.37.2410. PMID 2575016.


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