Collection location: Cholame Valley, California, USA [Click for map]
Occurs on a sandstone outcrop on a small hilltop with scattered Quercus douglasii, but otherwise in a semi-arid grassland setting.
Thallus light orange, sometimes more orange in center, lobes short elongate, 1-2mm, flat, with yellowish-orange pruina and most have very slightly raised tips (not appressed), although this doesn’t seem to be a good character. Apothecia common, <1mm, concentrated in center of thallus, with thick raised thalline margin concolorous with thallus, pruinose when young, disc same color with slight pruina, isidia and soredia absent, K+R.
Of course, ID is technically based on spore isthmus size and crystals/granules in the medulla, neither of which was examined here. Other options include C. saxicola and C. appressa, but general description and keys suggest C. impolita.
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C. trachyphylla has a distinctly roughened texture, unmistakable. At least in the Great Basin. I’ve wondered whether it converges with the coastal species and becomes more smooth near the coast. Wouldn’t that be perverse?