Lichen Colors

Although colors are a critical characteristic in lichen identification, they are also highly variable between specimens, lighting, screens and eyeballs. The Lichen Color Chart attempts to show the variation of colors and within a color. Note: if your device/monitor is not color calibrated, of course the colors will be skewed.

Special: Pale Yellow Green
This subtle but critical color in lichens indicates the presence of usnic acid, a secondary chemical which is very helpful in identification. In shade, it may look like green with a hint of dirty pale yellow. In sun, it may look more like a dirty pale yellow with hint of green (like chamomile tea). Learning to see this color is very helpful in identification but not always easy.

Click on chart for full sized image.