Moss or lichen identification

Asked February 26, 2020, 7:03 PM EST

I would like to duplicate this moss on garden rocks. Can you please identify it for me. It looks as though it's almost painted on the rock, and it's color is a vibrant almost fluorescent green. Very much appreciated.

Lincoln County Oregon moss horticulture

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. Mosses are green; lichens range from gray to black to red to yellow, and are not true 'plants.' (They are symbiotic structures consisting of a fungus and an alga.) Unfortunately, I don't know whether you want to propagate moss or a lichen, and the photo is taken too far away to see either entity with enough clarity. Are you able to peel some off and take a close-up photo? A lichen will be difficult to propagate, but you can propagate moss in one of the several ways described in this WSU answer: https://depts.washington.edu/hortlib/resources/wp-resource_search.php?term=319

Hope this is helpful.

Thank you K. A. for your response and for your volunteering in answering meaningful questions to us citizens.


This Moss unfortunately is so fine there was no means to remove a piece from the rock. It's so thin its texture could hardly be felt.

Attached are additional photos as close as my camera would allow.

What's interesting is this is the only rock in a neighborhood of 240 homes that I find this type. It's a few hundred feet from the ocean with south-facing light but otherwise protected under the shadow of a tree, on grass, and minimal direct seaspray if that makes a difference.

Thank you for additional photos. I suspect this falls into the ‘rock cap’ moss category. Here are two articles for your perusal: https://www.coastexplorermagazine.com/display.php?id=2158&page=2 https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/pathogen-articles/nonpathogenic-phenomena/living-land-mosses I don’t know if Dr. McCune is on the expert panel, but you might want to write to him directly. Hope these are helpful!