When a moss is not a moss – it’s Deer Lichen

4 Nov

Deer Lichen or as it is mistakenly called – Deer Moss – is not really a moss, but a lichen. A slow growing plant that can take decades to form a large mat on the ground. The little plants don’t have roots, but take it’s nutrients from the air. It is gathered up and sold to model train enthusiasts who paint them green and use as small trees and shrubs for their display. I prefer to leave them on the ground as food for the deer and other critters. But I’ll admit – I call it Deer Moss too:)



Deer Lichen - Cladina evansii




2 Responses to “When a moss is not a moss – it’s Deer Lichen”

  1. Suwannee Refugee November 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    I betcha deer lichen are all over the Ocala National Forest.

    • FlaScenics November 6, 2010 at 12:23 am #

      As a matter of fact – that’s where this photo was taken! Just off of 19. The moss was covering an old trail off the main trail that obviously hadn’t been used in awhile. My husband was nervous taking this little hike because there was a sign at the start that said “Warning – Bear activity is heavy in this area” But we didn’t see any wildlife. bummer.

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