This study aims to clarify taxonomic relationships within the current concept of Xanthoria parietina in northern Europe. For comparison, X. calcicola was also included in the study. Morphological as well as molecular data were utilized. Morphology indicated the presence of three species, Xanthoria parietina, X. calcicola, and X. aureola, the latter of which is resurrected here from synonymy. The most important separating characters involve colour and thickness of the thallus, lobe width, morphology of laminar structures, and the texture of the upper surface. X. aureola, as recognized here, mostly occurs on seashore rocks. Part of the IGS region as well as the complete ITS were sequenced in 70 individual thalli representing ten geographical regions in Europe. In total, 19 different IGS haplotypes and 20 different ITS haplotypes were present in the data set. Owing to indications of possible recombination between the IGS and the ITS, the two data sets were analyzed separately. Haplotype networks were estimated, both of which indicate that X. parietina is distinct from X. aureola and X. calcicola. In our sample, the two latter do not share haplotypes, but are only separated by a few mutational steps.