Public Description of Lecanora muralis (Schreber) Rabenh.

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Name: Lecanora muralis (Schreber) Rabenh.
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Description status: Reviewed
 (Latest review: 2010-04-11 09:31:25 EDT (-0400) by nathan)

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order: Lecanorales
Family: Lecanoraceae

General Description:

Crustose lichen, forming striking, beautiful, greenish, lobate rosettes (sometimes confluent with nearby thalli) on most kinds of rock. At first closely-appressed, but in age the center buckles out and often comes off the rock completely. Abundant brownish to yellowish to orangish to greenish apothecia (often variably colored on the same thallus) packed tightly in the center. Lobe tips are somewhat thickened around the edge making them look a bit concave. Typically waxy in appearance, although it can be pruinose esp. near the tips. Though technically crustose, they often form a rudimentary lower cortex near the lobe tips, making them “honorary foliose” lichens.

One of the few (of many many) Lecanora that can be more-or-less reliably identified in the field. It is, however, a rather variable species, with several subspecies and varieties defined throughout the world. It can be non-pruinose or heavily pruinose, gray or greenish or yellowish, abundantly fertile or sparsely so, with strongly radiating or randomly overlapping lobes, and has light-colored but extremely variably-colored apothecia.

Diagnostic Description:

LOBES: distinctly lobate, lobes plane to concave, grayish to pale yellowish-green to pale greenish-yellow, shiny-waxy texture, epruinose or not
ANATOMY: medulla loose and cottony, algal layer discontinuous
APOTHECIA: packed in center, discs pale yellowish to orangish to brownish, epruinoes; rim distinct, continuous, like thallus
CHEMISTRY: cortex usually KC+ gold (usnic acid)


Worldwide, cosmopolitan, often one of few lichens thriving in or near cities.


Most kinds of rock, in exposed situations, esp. enriched by birds, drip-zones, etc.

Look Alikes:

Other relatively-common, strongly-lobate, rosette-forming Lecanora:

L. garovaglii: lobes typically wider and thicker with a folded or inflated appearance
L. sierrae: lobes also wider and thicker, typically yellower
L. mellea and L. pseudomellea: brown or brownish
L. novomexicana: pruinose apothecia
L. phaedrophthalma: less distinctly lobate, darker apothecia?
L. bipruinosa: pruinose apothecia
L. valesiaca: thallus heavily pruinose, weakly separated lobes

Among several others…


Lichen Flora of the Greater Sonoran Desert Region, Vol. II, Nash et al. 2004 (Lecanora treatment by Ryan, Lubsch, Messuti, Printzen, Sliwa, Nash)

Lichens of North America, Brodo. 2001

Description author: Jason Hollinger (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Nathan Wilson, Paul Derbyshire

Created: 2008-10-05 17:55:35 EDT (-0400) by Jason Hollinger (jason)
Last modified: 2010-04-11 09:31:26 EDT (-0400) by Nathan Wilson (nathan)
Viewed: 183 times, last viewed: 2019-06-24 05:19:53 EDT (-0400)