Niebla halei

The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
November 2005, Sep 2012, Nov 2021, Sep 2022

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.


San Bruno Mt. CA,
Herre 857, holotype (COLO)


     Niebla halei is a rare lichen known only from San Bruno Mt.  It was collected by Herre in 1906.  Whether the species still survives is unknown. Herre (1936) had complained about the California lichen flora going to the “real estaters.”   Biodiversity on San Bruno Mountain includes many rare species.

     Niebla  halei is distinct for its small size, the smallest in the genus, and for its much divided thallus from a well-defined holdfast, unlike other profusely branched species that generally lack a holdfast.  It is further characterized by anisotomic branching, by the absence of pycnidia except at apex where appearing obscure, by the absence of apothecia, and by the lichen substance divaricatic acid (with triterpenes).  The anisotomic branching from a holdfast is similar to that of N. dactylifera, a species endemic to San Nicolas Island, which differs by the larger thallus less densely branched below the middle, and by having sekikaic acid.   The cortex of N. halei has reticulate ridging similar to that of N. testudinaria, especially Charis Bratt 6431 from Santa Cruz Island and Charis Bratt 7202 from the nearby Santa Ynez Mts.  The terminal antler-like branchlets are similar to those of N. dissecta on Santa Cruz Island.  These combination of these features and their relationships suggest that N. halei is a relict species.


Herre, A. W. C. T. 1936.  Our vanishing lichen flora. Madroño 3: 198–200.