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Bare-bottomed Sunburst

Scientific Name:

Xanthomendoza fulva




Primarily “open” bark, but occasionally in shaded areas and on rock surfaces


Earth’s northern hemisphere, including North America, and concentrating in temperate climates


Critically-imperiled in some areas

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Bare-bottomed sunburst is a type of common lichen. Lichens are complex organisms that arise from symbiotic relationships between fungi and a photosynthesizer, like algae. Of the genus Xanthoria, sunburst lichens are some of the most conspicuous and beautiful of lichens. They are typically bright in color, like the yellow-orange Bare-bottomed Sunburst, and distinctively characterized by the “fairy cup” shape of their foliose (leaf-like feature)

Fast Facts:

  • Brightly colored lichens like the bare-bottomed sunburst have been used to make dyes in the past. The bare-bottomed sunburst is too small to continue making dyes because so many colonies would be required to produce a small amount of dye.

  • Sunburst lichens are frequently the first types of lichens that beginning lichenologists are able to identify. The tricky part is taking care to accurately identify which kind of sunburst lichen a specimen is!



Taylor Gardner (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

June 16, 2021 at 10:42:38 PM

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