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Reindeer Moss*

Cladina rangiferina

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Reindeer Moss (Cladina rangiferina) at Alsip Home and Nursery

Reindeer Moss

Reindeer Moss

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  3 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  1

Other Names:  syn. Cladonia rangiferina, Caribou Lichen


This illuminating groundcover ranges in color from white to grey-green; a boreal forest native, it thrives in poor, rocky soil; a great basing for containers or as an accent in rock gardens

Ornamental Features

Reindeer Moss' attractive tiny threadlike leaves remain gray in color with showy white variegation and tinges of bluish-green throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Reindeer Moss is a dense herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Reindeer Moss is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Reindeer Moss will grow to be only 3 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

Reindeer Moss is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Rock  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features