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Xanthoria elegans

Xanthoria elegans (Link) Th. Fr.

Caloplaca elegans (Link) Th. Fr.

Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen

KingdomFungiMushrooms, lichens, gel fungi, yeasts, and molds; also called eukaryotes
DivisionAscomycotaSac fungi
SubdivisionPezizomycotinaSac fungi with filaments
ClassLecanoromycetes“Lichenized” fungi
OrderLecanoralesMostly lichen-forming fungi
SuborderTeloschistineaeIncludes Caloplaca, Fulgensia, Teloschistes, Xanthoria, others
FamilyTeloschistaceaeIncludes Caloplaca, Teleschistes, Xanthoria
GenusXanthoriaFrom Greek xanthos, “yellow”
SpecieselegansFrom Latin for “elegant”

About plant names...

Elegant sunburst lichen is an arresting species. It is native to regions from the Arctic Circle north and the Antarctic Circle south (a circumpolar distribution), occurring on all continents except Australia as well, especially at higher elevations.

Identification: Color is the principle identifier: bright orange, dark orange, or red. Though it is quite thin, this is considered a foliose (leaf-like) lichen. If it is wet, it swells. If you peel some of it up, the lower surface is white. It is found on rocks, especially where birds provide a steady source of nutrients, such as at seashores.

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

Xanthoria elegans (Link) Th. Fr., 1860 (photograph of a herbarium specimen taken through a dissecting microscope (x40) showing convex, reddish-orange lobes) Growing on rock in surf, along Highway 17, 3.4 miles N from Pancake Bay Provincial Park entrance, Ontario, Canada; collected and identified by Richard E. Riefner (No. 81-306, 27 Jun 1981); specimen is now in the Lichen Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden. From Ed Uebel.

Online References:

Xanthoria elegans on Wikipedia

Xanthoria elegans at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden Center for Plant Research (great photos)

Xanthoria elegans at Alan Silverside's Lichen Pages on LastDragon.org

Xanthoria elegans at Stephen and Sylvia Sharnoff's lichen.com site

Xanthoria elegans on Wikispecies

References:

Walewski, Joe, Lichens of the North Woods, Kollath+Stensaas Publishing, 2007, p. 82

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

On granite. · 2/14/2012 · Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

7/12/1988 · Trip with Ellie & Emil, ME

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

This lichen is a darker shade of orange when it is dry. · 5/3/2007 · By Jeffrey A. Barry

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

4/19/2014 · Owls Head, Knox County, ME
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 11 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

On concrete. · 2/14/2012 · Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA
≈ 3 × 2½" (7.5 × 6.6 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

6/9/2016 · Monhegan Island, ME

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

3/31/2013 · Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde, ME
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Xanthoria elegans description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 8 Jun 2017.

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Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

4/16/2017 · Whitehead Lighthouse, St. George, ME
≈ 6 × 4½" (16 × 12 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

3/31/2013 · Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde, ME
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

3/31/2013 · Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde, ME
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

4/16/2017 · Whitehead Lighthouse, St. George, ME
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

7/15/1998 · Kennebunkport, ME

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

On granite. · 2/14/2012 · Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

6/9/2016 · Monhegan Island, ME

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

4/19/2014 · Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Owls Head, Knox County, ME
≈ 6 × 4" (14 × 10 cm)

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

7/7/2017 · Birch Point Beach State Park, Owl's Head, ME ID is uncertain

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

9/18/2009 · Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
≈ 3 × 2" (7.9 × 5.3 cm) ID is uncertain

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

7/15/2012 · Slipway Restaurant, Thomaston, ME
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Xanthoria elegans (Elegant Sunburst Lichen, Sunburst lichen, Elegant Orange Wall Lichen)

2/15/2009 · Odiorne State Park, Rye, NH
≈ 21 × 14" (54 × 36 cm)