Upright Sunburst Lichen

Colonies begin as small cushions, but soon coalesce and become extensive. Form is highly variable in this species. Individual lobes are either flattened or almost cylindrical, often upright, yellow to pale orange above, and white to yellow below. Soredia occur at the lobe tips. Apothecia are rare. The genus Xanthoria is very similar in color, size, and appearance to Xanthomendoza. Lobes of Xanthoria candelaria are more upright, while those of Xanthomendoza (p. 87) are generally flattened parallel to the substrate. Five species of Xanthoria occur in the Santa Barbara area, and three of them are also found at Sedgwick Reserve.

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: Chris Broughton