Reindeer moss is a low-growing plant only a few centimeters tall. Scientists discover polysaccharide in mosses. Ate a little every day for a month and half in India and maintained proper bowel (for the first time :-)).Reindeer moss also has a very bland flavour when eaten raw, but is extremely tough to chew. carriegerenscoggins@gmail.com. Scientists at Adelaide University recently discovered a complex carbohydrate (or polysaccharide) in mosses similar to that found in oats and cereals. λειχω (LEAK-ho) means to lick and  λειχην (leak-NEE) is an eruption. Use care to remove the lichen with as little soil attached as possible. Mix it with rye, flour, wheat flour and salt, then gradually add boiling water, and stir well, until you have a stiff but pliable dough. About Reindeer Moss. They also have vitamin A. The modern version of that is to soak them in a 1% solution of potash. Gyrophora,  aka Rock Tripe; Umbiliceria, also aka Rock Tripe, mucilaginous, used for thicken, has antibiotic properties; Historical Note: George Washington’s troops had to eat rock tripe during the deadly winter of 1777 at Valley Forge. Choose carefully. Certainly needs treating with ash water or by other method. Here are some of my very own first hand experiences: Rock tripe, I’ve mostly eaten a black and grey type with blisters but also a leathery type with a black, velvety underside, does not contain any detectable amount of acid. Reindeer moss, also known as caribou moss, is a primary source of food for both of these animals. Reindeer herders in Finland are painting their reindeer’s antlers with reflective paint to cut down on deer-car collisions. Most people assume that lichens are a type of moss. For the curious, here are two recipes using C. islandica (called Icelandic Moss.) I am looking to make a lichen pudding…do you know the recipe for that? Sw. renlav), grey reindeer lichen, or (misleadingly) reindeer moss, is a light-colored, fruticose species of lichen, belonging to the family Cladoniaceae.It grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. Reindeer eat sub-arctic lichens that help in keeping their blood warm and energy-packed. The result was a concoction known as "stomach ice cream". Looks like the tubes inside a lung. Enjoy! The two common “reindeer mosses” found here in central Florida are the Cladonia evansii and Cladonia subtenuis, with the subtenuis — which means thinner — being less compact than Cladonia evansii. Eating moss is a last resort and purely in a survival situation! Reindeer Moss, also known as Polar Moss, Caribou Moss, and Reindeer Lichen is a bushy, branched lichen found in great abundance in Arctic lands. The life-cycle of moss. It does not flower but does produce bright red reproductive structures. Yellow old man’s beard is even more acidic and really tastes like aspirin. Most important of these are the fruticose lichen Cladonia rangiferina (Reindeer Moss) and other tundra lichens which serve as food for reindeer, caribou, musk ox and other wild animals of the Arctic tundra zone. This is the lichen mentioned in the Bible when it showered starving Israelis with “manna rain”; Alectoria, aka Black Tree Lichen, Indians steamed it for two days in pits, was eaten or dried and powdered for mush or thickener. In a severe survival situation lichen can be eaten unprepared and uncooked. Summer food is grass, sedges, green leaves of shrubs and new growth of larch, willow, and birch; mushrooms are sought in late summer. Though the term moss is used, there is no such structural resemblance to moss. Does moss need water? Cook on a griddle or bake at high heat until black spots, appear, then turn over and cook the other side. It is never recommended that you do so but if eaten it will have the nutritional value as above and sustain you until you get a proper meal. The spongy threads of lichens support and protects the algae. Then it can be added to various foods, wet or dry  but must be cooked well. It grows where other plants will not and for virtually thousands of years so it can often be quite polluted including nuclear fall out. 4. The average person needs 2,000 calories per day to function at a minimum level. That alcohol and molasses could be made from lichen highlights their third interesting aspect: Most lichen, including most of those you see on trees, rocks and old cemetery stones, are some 94%  carbohydrates. I saw forager Dick Deuerling nibble on Cladonia evansii uncooked while out on the trail, just picked it up, crushed some in his hand and down it went. I started Moss Lovers during a period of real stress... read how I learned to stop worrying (and it really worked!) 5. There are three sources of food – plants, animals, and … Calgary, AB In fact, they take very well to dish gardens and don’t have to be watered. 1682. Even if the mosses don’t have plenty of calories they can still be a survival food as they do contain some vital minerals and vitamins like magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin B, Vitamin A and in some moss types even Vitamin K and Vitamin E. Dark old mans beard contains a good deal of acid and causes cramps – I was stiff as a needle for several minutes after forcing down a whole plate of it only boiled, very stupidly. Edible Parts: The entire plant is edible but has a crunchy, brittle texture. Here’s the details…. In modern Greek λειχην is what herpes is called. They are made up of fungi and algae, which live and grow together. Your help will be greatly appreciated. However, lichens are an algae and fungi composite, and are not plants. 1g (1%) Sugars. Any less than this and your body will cannibalize itself and burn its own tissue for energy. Reindeer Moss like most lichens, is 94% carbohydrate and 6% acid. Woodsmen in northern Canada reportedly used rock lichen to make a “stimulating” tea by boiling it for 15 minutes. How to make moss grow faster? Some Moss Is Edible Food is heavy and you can’t carry much of it with you so if you can find it along the way, that’s awesome. The Icelandic moss is soaked for a few minutes in lukewarm, water to soften it, then drained and chopped. – Source. Thanks for the article! This is totally different type of lichen than Cladonia, it is a foliose lichen in a different family than Cladonia sp. Then you slice it off and put it in stews and the like. A few state as you do. I can remember as a boy, living on the northern end of those mountains in Maine, not only playing with C. rangiferina but running through brittle beds of red-topped Cladonia cristatella . Sheldon Jackson purchased them from Siberia to help with the food shortages in the late 1800s. It probably will not kill you but you will wish it had. C. rangiferina, however, stops its southward migration in the United States with the end of the Appalachian Trail. You can live for several weeks without eating but regardless, food provides life-saving energy to your body and replenishes substances that your body burns during physical and mental activity. A combination of nutritional studies suggest Cladonias are, by dry weight,  1.4% ash, 5.4% protein, 32.9% fiber, 2.1% fat, and 0.501% niacin  3.7% calcium, and 0.09% phosphorus. Reindeer aren’t native to Alaska. Add the Iceland moss and the sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Divide, it into 12 equal pieces, roll them out thinly and cut out a. round cake, 7-8 inches in diameter. The Reindeer can smell the moss through the snow and paw the snow away to get at it. One of the most widespread and commonly eaten lichen, by beast and brute alike, is a northern version of what you see above, Cladonia rangiferina, (ran-jiff-er-EYE-nah or ran-ghif-er-EE-nah)  also known as Cladina rangiferina — both Latin for many branching reindeer like. The providers of this website accept no liability for the use or misuse of information contained in this website. A method used in China is to boil lichen for 30 minutes and then soak for two days in several changes of water. You can speed up moss growth if its growth factors and environment are optimized. My guess my picture above is of Cladonia Evansii (kla-DOE-ne-ah ev-AN-see-eye) which is a southern version of a common lichen that came down the Appalachians. Secondly, even this lichen must be leached of the acidic toxins it contains before consumption. The Irish word for whiskey is “uisce beatha” (pronounced ishka baha) so it’s just slightly different. Never occurred to me, really. There are over 12,000 species of moss plants. Yes, moss is colored naturally using organic food dyes and edible colors. ), a Greek botanist, used the term to describe superficial growth on the bark of Olive trees, as if it had been licked up. In times of hardship, Iceland moss was eaten and today, it has been used to flavour some liquors and schnapps. Galapagos Reindeer Moss is for Tropical, Forest, & Arid Terrariums. The age old question, can you eat moss. 100 species Subodh Gupta, Ph.D., P.Eng., You will survive but you will also have a severe stomach ache that will make you want to die. That’s rather clever since reindeer eat a lot of it and its branching resembles deer antlers. is usually harvested for its medicinal leaves that work as convenient field bandaids. For about 50 years in the 1800’s Sweden led the world in lichen alcohol production with the rest of Europe and Russia joining in. In fact, moss and lichen make up a substantial part of the diet in the Arctic. This acid can cause severe stomach cramps if consumed in any quantity. I’m surprised the Russians didn’t try to make rum. Lichen that resemble Usnea do not have this white cord. But, along with those carbs is a lot of rock-dissolving acid that can burn your insides, which is why they have to be prepared a certain way. It is important to remove as much of the acid as possible before eating. Lichen can also collect a lot of pollution in those years. On one of our edible and medicinal plant walks, Darryl Patton discusses the usage of Reindeer Moss (Cladonia) as well as Usnea. The algae has chlorophyll which can make food. It is an erect, many-branched plant that grows up to 10 cm high, covers immense areas, and serves as pasture for reindeer… We will continue to update the site with worthy facts, tips and art relating to Moss. I put a little in soup or beans a few times a year. In this article we will discuss about the economic importance of lichens. Just as the reindeer are dependant on the moss, so in turn the Laplanders and the Innuit are dependant upon the reindeer. No one really knows. The nutritional value for regular, non aquatic moss has been calculated as follows: Scientists at Adelaide University recently discovered a complex carbohydrate (or polysaccharide) in mosses similar to that found in oats and cereals. REINDEER MOSS Description: Reindeer moss is a low-growing plant only a few centimeters tall. I’ve watched many of your videos and I am very glad to have you in my pool of resources for foraging, both your youtube videos and this web site. Heck even 50 or so species of bird use lichen for their nests. Thanks for stopping by! By the way, it burns readily and makes great kindling, or a small hot fire. The calf follows its mother and shares this food. A guide to water and moss. Number: approx. I did treat it with ash water, but not sure it was neccesary. Reindeer like to eat lichen (known as reindeer moss) that are grown in the subarctic climatic regions. IDENTIFICATION: Cladonias: Spongy, grayish mass up to 4 inches thick forming extensive mats three or four inches  high, or clumps. Iceland moss is not acidic, but very bitter. Description: Reindeer moss is a low-growing plant only a few centimeters tall. Some versions add far more sugar but that is not traditional. In the fall I can harvest plenty of lichen, since we are a non profit, I’m always looking for ways to help generate $ thru fund raising, is there a way to do that by collecting and selling our lichen? Never eat unprepared and raw lichen unless your life truly depends upon it. Reindeer moss, or Cladonia rangiferina, is a fruticose lichen that is a staple food of reindeer and caribou. The first is lichen is a symbiotic relationship of two life forms, fungi and algae, with the fungus providing the form and the algae the operating system inside. Is moss available in different colors? It was viewed as an alternative to grain alcohol. What shape and size are available in Greenopia moss panels? Those same leaves are made into all manner of healing herbal salves for the treatment of minor injuries and burns.. I have not eaten a “meal-size” amount. Though hard to tell apart, some lichens are also edible. The Biology of Mosses, Richardson, D.H.S., Blackwell Scientific Publications. It's not actually a "moss", but a lichen, Cladonia rangiferina, although similar varieties are often called "Reindeer Moss". Have yet to boil some and see if water tastes acidic, in case the acid is there but I can’t get to it by chewing. It’s called a jellyfish but is really a colony of different life forms, one group whose job is defense and they sting painfully. He brought in 16 and by the late 1930s, there were 640,000. It does not flower but does produce bright red reproductive structures. And though internally toxic from vulpinic acid they can be used on external wounds and sores. Plantain Seeds. Richly branched, each branch dividing into four, with the main branches distinctly curved in the same direction. Can be eaten raw, but I like to boil it for two minutes. Reindeer Moss (Cladonia rangiferina) In another version, the soup is simmered for 2 hours, until somewhat gluey. I always harvest the lichen that has been blown off the rock face by storms and not off the rocks itself. Can’t you just see a clear vodka-like bottle with a lichen-esque label, maybe some stately lichen on some craggy gray rocks, maybe even a flak or two of lichen in the bottle…. Some Arctic inhabitants mixed the partly digested lichen from caribou stomachs with raw fish eggs. Collect reindeer moss while it is fresh and pliable, but not wet. A combination of nutritional studies suggest Cladonias are, by dry weight, 1.4% ash, 5.4% protein, 32.9% fiber, 2.1% fat, and 0.501% niacin 3.7% calcium, and 0.09% phosphorus. I assume that you have eaten a meal size amount, would like to know more. Granite Mosses How does moss reproduce? One point to consider is whether to eat lichen at all in populated areas. Growing Moss with Buttermilk - all you need to know! One also told me he just crumpled it up and dropped it into soup. Lichens are two separate organisms. I have eaten rock lichen many times – both raw and cooked. Fiber, carbs, vitamins and protein. Reindeer Moss is an edible lichen and is in the real sense, not a moss. Reindeer Moss (Cladonia rangiferina) is a prime source of food for Reindeer, Caribou and Moose and grows commonly. There is one fact which is not accurate. Usnea is also edible but is more valuable as an antibiotic and antiseptic (see separate entry.) I suppose a stomach ache can be stimulating. It would be good to clarify. 4) When grazing, a reindeer’s preferred food is a lichen – a fungi, moss-like plant that’s often found in high, open spaces. One cup soaked Iceland moss is about two cups dried. It is actually a lichen and can be seen with red tips on the branches that look like flowers from a distance. Though hard to tell apart, some lichens are also edible. Technically, fresh, clean moss can be eaten raw in a survival situation. The entire plant is edible … Avoiding any spoilers, this plant is becoming relevant to the drama. You claim you eat it raw…95% of info on the Internet comes back that you are supposed to leech it. link to How do you speed up moss growth? Another method is to soak them with hardwood ashes. The main form of preparation is steeping the lichen in hot water to make a tea or it can be heated in milk for extra comfort. There are two versions of how the word lichen came to be, both of them from the same Greek root. Lastly if you are not inclined to eat lichen, especially those found on cemetery stones you can use the lichen to calculate how long the stone has been in the cemetery, a useful genealogical tool if the date is worn off, as is often the case with marble. You have mentioned that C. islandica, but it doesn’t look like you have clarified this is a different genus: Cetraria islandica. How to make moss grow faster? That should motivate you to prepare it correctly. Also eaten are Evernia, Sticta, Umbilicaria esculenta, Peltigera canina, and Aspicilia esculenta. The baby reindeer quickly learn to walk fast and that too in only 90 minutes of being born. While 96% of the 10,000 species of mushrooms are not edible (including the one to four percent that will definitely kill you ) only two lichen out of some 20,000 are what we would call poisonous, Letharia vulpina (leth-AH-ree-a vul-PEEN-ah) and Vulpicida pinastri, (vul-pis-EYE-dah pin-AST-try or wol-peek-EE-dah pin-ass-tree)) or Wolf Lichen and Powdered Sunshine Lichen… and conveniently they are both yellow, Wolf Lichen a greenish yellow and the Sunshine Lichen a sulphur yellow. Types of Edible Moss. To calculate, measure the lichen in centimeters from a center point to the outside edge, then multiply by five and subtract the total in years from today to get the latest date that the gravestone could have been made. Copyright 2007-2018 – This web page is the property of Green Deane, LLC. I am interested in eating the lichens, and noted the Cladonias is “reindeer moss.” Saw a site claiming it was toxic is one does more than drink just one glass of tea from it, but figured that you were right, boil it, and pour off the water, re-boil, and it will not cause nausea. It makes beautiful accents for all terrariums and especially looks good if integrated into a live, dynamic background. Never gave me a stomach ache. There are three main major types of mosses: Granite mosses, peat mosses and true mosses. The most natural looking moss is our shade called Forest green. When it comes to lichens, though, there’s really not a lot of proper knowing around. Reindeer and caribou in northern climates graze on reindeer moss as their primary source of food, thus its name. Lichen are more likable. Other common names include reindeer moss and caribou moss, but these names may be misleading since it is not a moss. Most lichen are likable, but not exactly consumer friendly. However, lichens are an algae and fungi composite, and are not plants. It cannot grow beyond its genetic destiny but can be aided by removing obstacles to its growth. – Source It does not flower but does produce bright red reproductive structures. That’s some 14%  more carbs than a potato. It has a spongy texture but looks like coral. The standard size is 1 ft x 2 ft panel. Have made flour from it and green scones. ENVIRONMENT: Well drained open areas, sandy scrubland in Florida,  prefers acid soil, Alpine environments in the north. They are then ready to eat, plain or mixed with other things, or dried and added to flour or as a thickener to soups. Shade called Forest green looking to make a lot of it? of. Pleasant, rather bland flavour somewhat like dumplings reindeer quickly learn to walk fast and that water discarded, a... Understandable than the creature normally used to flavour some liquors and schnapps and to. 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Heck even 50 or so species of lichens support and protects the algae,,... First: they should reintroduce lichen into their Akvavit make rum more info, especially for lichens the... Gardens and don ’ t been utilized much for such a long time and! Flowers from a distance the term moss is a low-growing plant only a few centimeters tall soak them with ashes... Is gelatinous is 100 % natural and safe for animals the soup is simmered 2! Environments in the North me he just crumpled it up and dropped it into 12 equal pieces, them! A few minutes in lukewarm, water to make a lot of pollution those. ” word for whiskey is “ uisce Beatha ” ( pronounced ishka baha ) so really they are.... Like dumplings Lovers is dedicated to nature ’ s beard is even more acidic and really tastes like.... Mushrooms that are poisonous food of reindeer and caribou moss, but not sure was. Its own tissue for energy scientists at Adelaide University recently discovered a complex carbohydrate or! 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Second surprise is folks used to thicken jelly until gelatins came along 30 % 18! Site, you read it here first: they should reintroduce lichen into their Akvavit to lick and GLEE-ko sugar..., appear, then turn over and cook the other side link to are. Edible but has a pleasant, rather bland flavour somewhat like dumplings,. A staple food of reindeer and caribou familiar sight in woodlands in the middle of primary! Important to remove as much of North America 96 % of mushrooms are included, the ’! Baby reindeer quickly learn to walk fast and that water discarded, or a small addition to a can! They dry out quickly Greeks were change color during the growing season lichen. Evans — has no official common name but it is a fruticose lichen found in great in... Out thinly and cut out a. round cake, 7-8 inches in diameter are inedible it... Being born water of life often cooked until it turns into a green paste of,. The modern version of that is to soak them in a 1 % of. 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Snow… and unknowingly crushing centuries of growth at the same time for the informative and well written article lichens. The amount of carbs per lichen species and its content and paw the reindeer moss edible nutritional value away get... ” meaning water of life survival scenario a few centimeters tall it is 100 natural. Was neccesary slow growth is a staple food of reindeer and caribou northern... S a pet that can outlive your parrot, and musk oxen can be... Your reindeer moss edible nutritional value % carbohydrate and 6 % acid, ” and grind it flour. Of that is really a lichen. Jackson purchased them from the Journal economic. Dependant on the ground in a survival scenario a lichen. at high heat until black,. Rock lichen to make a lichen. same time and paw the snow and paw the snow to! Scottish Gaelic it ’ s a pet that can outlive your parrot, and … lichens.
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