Definition of Iceland moss in US English:

Iceland moss

(also Iceland lichen)


  • A brown branching lichen with stiff spines along the margins of the fronds, growing in mountain and moorland habitats. It can be boiled to produce an edible jelly.

    Cetraria islandica, order Parmeliales

    • ‘On our moss-covered trails, mats of shrubby gray reindeer lichen and Iceland lichen are common.’
    • ‘Since the 17th century, Iceland moss has been known in folk medicine under names such as lung moss or fever moss.’
    • ‘The two lichens of economic importance are Iceland moss, Cetraria islandica, and reindeer moss, Cladonia rangiferina.’
    • ‘Reindeer moss and Iceland moss, both low, branching forms, provide food for large mammals and other animals in northern regions.’
    • ‘In excessive doses or with prolonged use, Iceland moss can cause gastric irritation and liver problems.’


Iceland moss

/ˈīslənd môs/