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The Seashore

Yellow and Orange Lichens in the Splash Zone

An orange lichen belt may be distinguished below the White and Grey.
Xanthoria is a common yellowy orange lichen that can be especially prolific. The intensity of colour varies with aspect: north facing being quite pale.

Xanthoria parietina


Is a yellowy-orange lichen that has raised leaf like lobes coming up from the surface of the rock. Its fruiting bodies are like raised discs. It is orangey because of the pigment parietin which protects the algal cells from too much sunlight. On sunny sites it's a deeper orange colour as a result. It releases propagules (soredia) all through the year. These are little bundles of fungal hyphae wrapped around some algal cells.

Close-up of Xanthoria

Close-up of Xanthoria

Lichens reproduce like this because they are two separate species and so can't do it sexually. Xanthoria is about 93% fungus and 7% alga. Lichens look nothing like their fungal or algal partners when grown separately.


The orange lichen Caloplaca with Lichina confinis

The orange lichen Caloplaca with Lichina confinis.

Caloplaca is a common crustose lichen

See also Ramalina and White/grey Lichen

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