Niebla laminaria

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

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.


laminaria-9047L.jpg (73310 bytes)

Cerro Solo, Spjut & Marin 9047L, Apr 1985

laminaria-11536.jpg (79913 bytes)

Punta Cono, Spjut &
Marin 11536
, Apr 1990

laminaria-11543.jpg (68418 bytes)

Punta Cono, Spjut & Marin 11543, Apr 1990

niebla_laminaria_10396.jpg (90264 bytes)

Punta María, Spjut 10396,
Mar 1988

Pt. Loma, Cabrillo Natl. Mon., CA.  Bratt 5651

San Nicolas Island,
Timbrook & Kuinzenga  735

California (COLO: S-7344)

Punta Banda, BCN
Spjut & Marin 9032C3
May 1985, Holotype



     Niebla laminaria is a Pacific Coast lichen that occurs mostly in California and sporadically southwards in Baja California to the Northern Vizcaíno Desert region. It is recognized by the lichen substance of divaricatic acid (with triterpenes), by the thallus divided into relatively few basal branches (<10) with a dark green rippled and transversely cracked cortex, and by various branch marginal features that include fimbriate, nodular or lobe-like branchlets. This is in contrast to N. eburnea that is distinguished by the yellowish green smooth cortex, and N. homalea identified by the entire branch margins.  In Baja California N. laminaria is distinguished from divaricatic-acid species such as N. juncosa and N. undulata by the relatively few rigid branches as related to a thicker cortex and solid medulla. 

     Thalli of Niebla laminaria show a more complex morphological pattern of identifiable features compared to other related species; however, the various morphs also cannot be confidently assigned to other species. For example, they may resemble N. juncosa, but the cortex is dull and transversely cracked, or they may look like N. undulata but the cortex is too thick and the medulla is too solid, or they may resemble N. eburnea, but lack any definitive shape in development, or they may resemble N. caespitosa, which differs by having broader and more flattened branches with a thinner cortex. The specimen from Pt. Loma is also similar to variants of N. cornea (sekikaic acid) from southern California mainland and Channel Islands. However, the type specimen from Punta Banda, and another specimen from San Nicolas Island, are remarkably similar.