How to identify: Leafy Xanthoria


Close-up of Leafy Xanthoria lichenLeafy Xanthoria thrives in areas with nitrogen pollutants. This lichen is common in big cities and near major roads.

Its bright yellow colour makes it very easy to spot. In fact, the name Xanthoria comes from 'xanthos', a Greek word meaning yellow.


  • Lobes broad and spreading
  • Lobes yellow or orange (in sun) to greenish yellow (in shade)
  • Orange fruiting bodies often present


Did you know?

  • Xanthoria also grows throughout the arctic, adding a much needed splash of colour to the white surroundings. The Polar Inuit of Northern Greenland call it 'sunain anak', meaning the sun's excrement.
  • Xanthoria has been used as a dye to colour many things from fabric to Easter eggs. We don't recommend this.