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

Xanthoria polycarpa (Hoffm.) Rieber
pincushion sunburst

Introduction to the Lichens

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12377)

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

Species Information

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Illustration By: Trevor Goward

Minute to small stratified foliose or occasionally fruticose lichens, corticate above and below, sorediate or isidiate or not, lobes closely appressed to loosely attached or semi-erect, short to more often elongate or elongatelinear, averaging to 0.3–1 (–2) mm wide, thin or somewhat thick. Upper surface orange or orangish, K+ purple. Lower surface pale, often whitish, often bearing scattered, short, simple rhizines. Medulla white. Photobiont green.
Apothecia located over upper surface, disc orange; spores 2-celled, ellipsoid, colourless, 8 per ascus.
Over base-rich rock and bark, occasionally over bone.

Notes: Xanthoria is primarily a temperate genus consisting of approximately 15 species worldwide. Ten are reported for North America and six for B.C. The western Xanthoriae are in need of taxonomic revision; therefore the following account is tentative, pending further study. Chemistry is of little taxonomic value in this genus and is omitted.
Species description:
Soredia and isidia absent AND Over bark; lobes closely appressed to semi-erect AND Lobes more or less closely appressed and tightly overlapping, mostly short, dorsiventral throughou
The material included here is heterogeneous.

Source: Lichens of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Habitat: Frequent over base-rich bark in open inland sites at lower elevations
World Distribution: circumpolar, S (at least) to NM.

Source: Lichens of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Teloschistes polycarpus (Hoffm.) Tuck.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References