oak moss

oakmoss

[ohk-maws, -mos]
noun
a lichen, Evernia pranastri, growing on oak and other trees, yielding a resin used in the manufacture of perfumes.

Origin:
1920–25; oak + moss

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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oak moss

(Evernia prunastri), species of fruticose (branched, bushy) lichen valued in perfumery for its heavy, oriental fragrance and as a fixative base. It grows in mountainous areas throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. The pale greenish gray thallus, 3 to 8 cm (1.2 to 3 inches) long, is palmately branched, ending in pointed tips. The upper surface is green and warty with pale gray reproductive bodies (soredia). The undersurface is whitish with a faint netlike pattern. A less common species (E. furfuracea), having similar properties, is often included under the same common name, which is a translation of the French mousse de chene.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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