Live Reindeer Moss
Live Reindeer Moss (a lichen) is widely used for decorative arts and crafts, to add foliage to terrariums and model layouts, to cover soil in potted plants, and to spice up fairy gardens.
Reindeer Moss generally comes in two forms: Live and Preserved.
Live Reindeer Moss is very flexible, and it is easy to keep it healthy and flourishing. It's great for covering soil in potted plants or to create living art. It's also great for when you want to preserve it yourself, specific to your needs. For example, you may have custom colors that you use, and wish to dye the reindeer moss yourself, rather than rely on a supplier.
Preserved Reindeer Moss is perfect for displays and uses that won't change, when you don't want to have to maintain live moss, and when you want different colors of moss for your projects.
Live Moss generally comes in full “pillows” of varying sizes and colors. A small bundle can be one inch in diameter, and I regularly find very large pillows at 8″ to 9″ long, and about two inches high! I can harvest larger patches – contact me if you need very large pieces. Most of it will be light grey or green in varying hues. The live reindeer moss for sale on this site is generally light green or chartreuse.
Reindeer Moss Facts
Reindeer Moss (Cladonia rangiferina or Lichen rangiferinus) is actually a lichen.
A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colors, sizes, and forms.
It is also known as Caribou Moss.
Reindeer Moss grows in all weather climates – it even grows under snow and ice. It's very hearty! You can harvest a pillow and let it dry out, then store it for months in a plastic bag. When dry, it's very delicate and brittle, so handle it with great care. Store it in cool, dry place, and keep it out of direct sunlight – the sun can cause it to fade. When you want to use it, you can soak it in water and it refreshes very quickly.
It grows in firm, sandy soil, and can be found along roadsides on the banks facing north. It will actually grow on any slope – it's just much more common on areas with the right mixture of sun and shade. Dappled light areas are the best, like the north-facing sides of roads along mixed hardwood and pine forests.
Reindeer Moss does require sunlight for photosynthesis. It will not grow in dark areas. It will grow in indirect sunlight, but again, dappled sunlight is the best.