• Cladonia rangiformis Hoffm.
Cladonia rangiformis
Click on map to open large map in new window
(Map updated: 11 August 2009)

Among the short turf of cliff tops where basic rock formations stretch out along the coast, C. rangiformis is not an uncommon plant. Its resemblance to ‘reindeer’ moss helps draw the attention of the observer, the thick, spiky tufts forming a grey gauzy carpet over the ground, often covering extensive areas. Close attention to detail should highlight the neat patterning of green algae against the white of the stems and also the wide-angled branching of the stem tips. Its preference for cliff tops and short-turf communities overgrowing calcareous rock suggests it is a poor competitor where grasses may, for various reasons, attain dominance. A dab of K (potassium hydroxide) turns the thallus yellow.

Key characteristics

  • Forms grey, gauzy carpets of thick spiky tufts on short turf over basic soils
  • Blobs of green algae attached to the stems contrasts with the white background; stems much branched at the tips.

Original text submitted by Vince J. Giavarini

 Simms, M. J., (2016). Cladonia rangiformis Hoffm.. [In] LichenIreland. Accessed on 2019-01-21.