Location: 50°36’21.49"N, 114°58’49.52"W, el. 2430m. Ptarmigan Cirque is 2 km E of Highwood Pass.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight: conspicuously roughened surface, apothecia narrower than lobes, appearing entirely crustose toward the center

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
interesting analysis
By: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)
2012-01-16 15:31:57 AST (-0400)

and all new material for me. If working with Louise could lead to a concise “field guide to bright orange alpine lichens of the Canadian Rockies” with super comparative photos right here on MO, that would be very helpful!

Thanks, Chris!
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-01-16 14:44:02 AST (-0400)

I had the same experience in the Mojave that you had on the Colorado Plateau. The material there is so clearly Caloplaca trachyphylla, it gives you this sense of security. And “good” / “typical” Xanthoria elegans is also obviously non-crustose, with these tangled terete elongate lobes which obviously lift completely off the substrate. It’s these blasted things in between that bug the heck out of me. I tried to get Trevor to divulge the secret over the phone last night, but when pressed he just said to ask Louise Lindblom! Both species definitely occur and are common in the area (Brodo’s maps were based on the best available data at the time). Confusing the whole thing, X. elegans may be two different species(!) Ugh. Please forgive me for formally proposing C. trachyphylla for this observation. I’ll give both “could be” votes, so X. elegans should continue to win.

By: Chris Parrish (kitparrish)
2012-01-16 02:03:13 AST (-0400)

Hmmm. I reached a certain comfort level with those two on the Colorado Plateau, but only just now noticed that the range map in Brodo brings Caloplaca trachyphylla right up to the doorstep of Alberta. I suspect that this is Xanthoria elegans, however, because I would expect the marginal lobes of Caloplaca trachyphylla to lengthen, straighten out, and even change color somewhat (from orange towards yellowish) to present that strikingly symmetrical fan-like border. In contrast, the marginal lobes of Xanthoria elegans just seem to “wiggle on out there.”

Did you consider Caloplaca trachyphylla, as well?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2012-01-16 00:54:55 AST (-0400)