Lichens, Pacific Northwest
The Common Orange Lichen is a leafy lichen. It is also known by the names yellow scale, maritime sunburst lichen and shore lichen. Look for it on inland rock bluffs, along trails and on trees, it is also quite common on boulders along lakes and streams. It is quite common on the BC coast.
They are a leaf lichen. The lobes of the thallus are up to 4 mm in diameter, and flattened down. The upper surface is some shade of yellow, orange, or greenish yellow, while the lower surface is white.
The outer skin of the lichen is composed of closely packed fungal hyphae that protects the thallus from water loss due to evaporation. The pigment parietin gives this species its deep yellow or orange-red color.
The common orange lichen is a widespread lichen, and can be found in Australia, Africa, Asia, North America and throughout much of Europe. In eastern North America and Europe, it is usually only found near coastal locations.