Oakmoss, scientifically known as Evernia prunastri, stands out in the midst of a winter setting with its bright, fluffy exterior, adding a touch of flamboyance to the dark thickets of shrubs and trees.
While it prefers oak trees, the lichen can also be found on other types of woody stems. This specific species has recently made a remarkable comeback in various regions of Britain and Europe, after nearly disappearing entirely. Its decline was due to the Industrial Revolution and the resulting sulphur dioxide pollution from coal-burning power plants.
In areas where coal power plants have shut down, the growth of oakmoss has recovered. The largest concentration of this lichen in the area was found on shrubs near a wind turbine in Heath and Reach, Bedfordshire.
The oakmoss did not pose a threat to the bushes. It is a type of lichen that grows on other plants and obtains its nutrients from surrounding air, rain, or debris.
In France, this plant is harvested primarily for its fragrant qualities. Some individuals believe it can also aid with intestinal issues, but it is most enjoyable to appreciate its aesthetic appeal.