Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica)

Iceland moss in the wildThe edible Iceland moss grows only a few inches high. Its color may be gray, white, pale chestnut, or even reddish.  It grows to a height of 3 to 4 inches with branches rolled into tubes which terminate in flattened lobes with fringed edges.

Where to Find: Look for it in open areas. It grows abundantly in the mountainous regions of northern countries and is especially prevalent on lava slopes.

Edible Parts: All parts of the Iceland moss are edible. During the winter or dry season, it is dry and crunchy but softens when soaked. Boil the moss to remove the bitterness. After boiling, eat by itself or add to milk or grains as a thickening agent. Dried plants store well.

A field of Iceland moss

Close up view of Iceland moss

Close-up view of Iceland moss

Drawing of Iceland moss showing various components

Iceland moss drawing

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