A common species of urban lichen is being promoted as a natural alternative to Viagra, much to the concern of scientists

Botanists in New Zealand are warning the public not to consume lichen growing on footpaths and shady rocks throughout the country, after misleading stories about its stimulatory properties spread rapidly online.

The University of Otago lichenologist Dr Allison Knight dubbed a common species of local lichen “sexy pavement lichen” after discovering it was being promoted as a natural alternative to Viagra in online marketplaces, especially in China.

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