Cladonia spp.

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Name and publication

Cladonia spp.


Various species of Cladonia, primarily C. stellaris (Opiz) Brodo with admixture of C. arbuscula (Wallr.) Hale & Culb. and C. rangiferina (L.) Nyl., the reindeer lichens, are sold in the potpourri trade as “reindeer moss” but also used widely in the florist industry and as miniature trees and shrubs in architectural models and miniature railroad layouts. The thallus is gray to pale yellowish green in the native state with densely branched, tree-like tips, forming rounded, foamy tufts, 1-4 cm wide x 1-3 cm high.

Nativity and distribution

These reindeer lichens are circumboreal on the ground, sometimes forming dense mats, in forests or heaths.