Plant Guide > Mosses and Lichens > Lichens > Genus Cladonia > Reindeer Lichen

Reindeer Lichen

Reindeer LichenReindeer Lichen, Cladonia rangiferina, (L.) Hoffm.

Habit and habilat.-On earth often covering extensive areas.

Vegetative organs (thallus).-Shrubby (fruticulose). Fruiting branches (podetia) 4 to 10 cm. tall, branches cylindrical and hollow, 5 to 1.5 mm. thick, the divisions mostly wide-spreading; the sterile tips curved and drooping without a distinct outer layer (ecortzcate), the surface fibrous sometimes mealy or warty; ashy-white or tinged with greenish straw-colour.

Fruiting organs (apothecia).-Tiny brown knobs on the tips of the fruiting branches.

Name.-"Reindeer lichen" because reindeer feed upon it in winter.