reindeer moss(redirected from reindeer mosses)
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reindeer moss:see lichenlichen
, usually slow-growing organism of simple structure, composed of fungi (see Fungi) and photosynthetic green algae or cyanobacteria living together in a symbiotic relationship and resulting in a structure that resembles neither constituent.
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any lichen of the genus Cladonia, including C. rangiferina, C. alpestris, and C. sylvatica. Sometimes only the first species is called reindeer moss. Because of their bushy, heavily branched layers, the lichens are occasionally separated into the genus Cladina. It provides good fodder for reindeer. Some species contain usnic acid, which has antibiotic properties.