Moss and Lichen

Moss and lichen are very similar species and are often confused for one another. They both grow on rocks, trees, and other natural spaces. Moss is typically green, and is a plant, while lichen can be white, grey, or grey-green.

Moss usually looks like fuzzy grass, while lichen looks like peeling paper or a fungus. Often they are found together, sometimes with mushrooms too. They all have similar conditions they enjoy growing in!

Moss and licehn growing on a tree
Green moss growing on flat rocks

Did you know?

Lichen is made up of two organisms, a fungus and an algae.

Moss

With this close-up photo of moss, can you tell that is is a plant? Notice that it almost looks like grass.

A close-up photo of dark green moss
Light green lichen curling off of a log

Here is a close-up photo of lichen. This lichen is curling gently off the log. Can you tell the difference between lichen and moss?

Lichen

Back to Learn