When wet, the plant is very soft and pliable. Dry specimens crumble at the slightest pressure. When I hear the lichen crunching beneath my feet, I sometimes feel guilty about walking through it in the summer. A little bit of damage doesn’t seem to hurt it any. Every piece that breaks off falls to the ground to become a new plant. An easy way to get some started in a new area is to slightly crumble a big piece and sprinkle over the new site.
Because of its natural resemblance to trees and shrubs, Reindeer Moss was once used extensively by scale model train enthusiasts to decorate their railway landscapes. This branch certainly looks like a tree in miniature, but I think it should have a miniature haunted house beside it.
This is an edible lichen that was once used by the early pioneers. The dried plant would be ground up and mixed with flour to make that irreplaceable item last longer. If I had been a lichen collecting pioneer child, I bet my Dad would have complained every night that I had again managed to gather grass, dirt, or bugs along with the lichens.