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UK Nature > Lichens > Evernia prunastri
Scientific Name: Evernia prunastri
Common Name: Oakmoss
Evernia prunastri, more commonly known as Oakmoss, is a type of lichen used extensively in modern perfumery and can be found throughout the United Kingdom. Oakmoss grows primarily on the trunk and branches of oak trees, but is also commonly found on the bark of other deciduous trees and conifers such as fir and pine.
The thalli of Oakmoss are short (3 to 4 cm in length) and bushy, and grow together on bark to form large clumps. Oakmoss thallus is flat and strap-like. They are also highly branched, resembling the form of deer antlers. The colour ranges from green to a greenish-white when dry, and dark olive-green to yellow-green when wet. The texture of the thalli are rough when dry and rubbery when wet.
The lichen has a distinct and complex odor and can be described as woody, sharp and slightly sweet. Oakmoss growing on pines have a pronounced turpentine odor that is valued in certain perfume compositions.
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