Lace Lichen

This large fruticose lichen is common, hanging from oak branches in fog zones on the West Coast. It is common at Sedgwick, but has been extirpated in the Santa Barbara area due to urbanization. The dull green, strap-shaped, netlike branches and abundant irregular-shaped holes give it a lacy appearance. It has pale cup-shaped apothecia that produce airborne spores. Vegetative propagation occurs by fragmentation.

Its name is derived from Archibald Menzies, explorer of the west coast of North America in the early 1800s, when Ramalina menziesii was first collected.

Nearly 150 species of lichen have been identified on the 5,896 acre UCSB Sedgwick Reserve in the Santa Ynez Valley.  With funding from John and Heidi Rabel, CCBER has published Lichens of Sedgwick Reserve and Santa Barbara County. This guide helps to identify 56 of the species with descriptions by lichenologist Dr. Shirley Tucker  and stunning, full color photographs by Chris Broughton, Professor of Photography at Brook’s Institute, providing a fascinating view of the beauty and complex symbiotic nature of lichens.

Photo Credit: Heather Liu