Niebla fimbriata

©The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
April 2003, Oct. 2005, Sep 2012
Additions May 2017

Niebla and Vermilacinia (Ramalinaceae) from California and Baja California.  
Spjut, R.W., 1996. ISSN 0833-1475, 208 pp.  
Sida, Botanical Miscellany: 14. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Inc.


Evolutionary history of coastal species of fog lichen genera
Niebla, Ramalina and Vermilacinia

Emmanuel Sérusiaux & Richard  Spjut
Baja California, Jan-Feb 2016

Evolution and diversification of Niebla
Steve Leavitt et al., Baja California, Dec 2016



San Antonio del Mar, 92 m, Spjut & Sérusiaux 17012. Jan 2016

Southwest of San Quintin in the Punta Mazo Reserve, on volcanic slopes of Volcan Sudoeste, 40 m, Leavitt et al. 16-716, Dec 2016

Laguna and peninsula of San Quintin, N 30°29'743, W 116°00.044', 4 m, Spjut & Sérusiaux 17032B,. Jan 2016

Just north of the city of El Rosario, along the Transpeninsular Hwy 1, on west side of road on small ridgeline dominated by euphorbs and small rocks, 150 m, Leavitt et al. 16-821, Dec 2016

fimbriata-11154.jpg (132384 bytes)

Punta Blanca, Spjut & Marin 11454, Apr 1990


fimbriata-11177.jpg (48563 bytes)

San Antonio del Mar, Spjut & Marin 11177, Apr 1990

San Antonio del Mar, Spjut & Marin 10503, Apr 1989

fimbriata-13031.jpg (106821 bytes)

Punta Canoas, Spjut & Marin 13031, Apr 1994

Punta Canoas, Spjut & Marin 13079, Apr 1994

Punta Canoas, Spjut & Marin 13111, Apr 1994

San Antonio del Mar,  Apr 1990

San Antonio del Mar, Spjut 10232, Mar 1988


SW of el Rosario along
road to Punta Baja,
Spjut 10288b, Mar 1988

Cañón San Fernando, BCN, Spjut & Marin 12729, March 1993

Santa Cruz Island, Bratt 6436

Arroyo Sauces just S of Punta Cuchillo between Punta Canoas and Punta Blanca, Spjut & Marin 11448, April 1990

Geographical Distribution

Illustration of TLC data for Niebla spp.

San Antonio del Mar,  Apr 1990, Spjut 11184, holotype


     Niebla fimbriata is a lichen that occurs infrequently along the Pacific  Coast of the Baja California peninsula from Punta Blanca north to San Antonio del Mar and in the Channel Islands. It appears most common in the chaparral-desert transition between San Quintín and Cabo Colonet, especially on lava rubble, such as on mesas above San Antonio del Mar, occurring in association with N. josecuervoi (salazinic acid), N. effusa (salazinic acid), and N. pulchribarbara (protocetraric acid).  

     Niebla fimbriata is characterized by having sekikaic acid (with triterpenes) and by the wind-swept spine-like (fimbriate or fringed) branchlets along a primary branch, all spreading nearly at right angles, ± in the same direction.  The branchlets are rather brittle, and easily break off near the main branch. The fragile cortex is often dark olive green with frequent dimples or ripples, in contrast to the leathery, turgid, pale yellowish green cortex of N. suffnessii, which also differs in the absence of dark pigmentation near the base of the thallus and by the less sharply differentiated branchlets that do not show a pattern in breaking off from the main branch. 

     Specimens of Niebla fimbriata from the Channel Islands appear to intergrade with N. siphonoloba, a species generally distinguished by its small tufts of simple tubular basal branches.  Others from near Punta Canoas appear to intergrade with N. suffnessii.

     In Baja California, Niebla fimbriata often appears similar to N. juncosa var. spinulifera from which it differs by having divaricatic acid, while its branchlets appear less wind-swept  by pointing in various directions.