nw338's picture

Are these Fruticose or Moss?

Observed: 17th November 2009 By: nw338
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
Moss or Fruticose?
Moss or Fruticose
moss or fruticose?

out of focus but should be enough to identify if you know?


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


gardener's picture

Your photographs are of moss

Your photographs are of moss species.

mrs-smith's picture


I agree with Jenny, it's moss.

Sarah West's picture

One of the differences...

Confusing mosses and lichens is very common when just starting out looking at lichens, one of the things I get people to do is rub their fingers over the specimen. If it's soft(ish) and a bit bouncy to touch then it's likely to be moss. Lichen tends to feel a bit harder and scratchier.

Also, because only part of the lichen (the algae part) photosynthesizes lichens tend to be a less bright green than your moss shown, they are a bit more grey in colour. Difficult though until you've seen some fruticose lichens!

Hope that helps a bit.

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist
Yorkshire and Humber

lst55's picture


I did the same thing with my first 'fruticose lichen'!


OU Student

J Lowell's picture

A moss, probably

A moss, probably Brachythecium sp or Rhynchostegium sp. A hand lens should show distinct stem and leaves, precluding a lichen