E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Xanthoria parietina (L.) Th. Fr.
weedy sunburst (golden shield lichen; maritime sunburst lichen; orange wall lichen; shore lichen)

Introduction to the Lichens

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23247)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Xanthoria parietina
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Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria map


The orange wall lichen is an introduced species of yellow foliose or leafy lichen now commonly found in southwestern British Columbia. There are collections for it in the UBC Herbarium from Vancouver, Richmond, West Vancouver, Galiano Island, Agassiz and the Chilliwack area, and additional photographic records from Saturna Island. This species has a distinctive large, yellow-orange thallus with overlapping lobes. It is a calcicole (lime-loving) lichen often found in alkaline substrates as well as on siliceous rock (Armstrong 1990). It is pollution tolerant, and shows preference for sunny exposed sites that are nitrogen-rich. It can be found growing on trees, rocks, and manmade structures wherever nitrogen levels are high. In British Columbia, you can view a population of this lichen in Garry Point Park, in Steveston, on deciduous trees adjacent to the parking lot and fast food outlet. These trees are proximal to the shoreline, within reach of the spray zone.

This species is known by many different common names, including orange wall lichen, golden shield lichen, orange lichen, maritime sunburst lichen, shore lichen.

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Synonyms and Alternate Names

Teloschistes parietinus (L.) Norman

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Armstrong, Richard A. (1990). The influence of calcium and magnesium on the growth of the lichens Parmelia saxatilis and Xanthoria parietina on slate substrates. Environmental and Experimental Botany30 (1): 51-57.

General References