Like all lichens, the maritime sunburst is a composite organism, comprising a fungus growing together in a symbiotic relationship with an alga. This leafy lichen has orange-yellow lobes that form large circular rosettes. The spore-bearing discs are the same colour as the rest of the body (thallus) or slightly darker. Like all lichens, it reproduces via powdery granules.
The maritime sunburst lichen is a common species that has a greater tolerance to air pollution than most other lichens. It grows throughout Europe on rocks, walls and tree bark.