Stone Mountain Red Moss: Elf –Orpine

Red Moss, Elf-Orpine (Diamorpha smallii)

is not a moss at all, but a succulent plant (genus of family Crassulaceae) which prefers the sunlight and warmth of the exposed granite at Stone Mountain.

This plant is endemic in the southeastern United States, and is mainly found in Georgia, though populations have also been noted in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

In late fall and winter it becomes active, it blooms in late March. Its leaves are succulent and of red color and hold water. Elf Orpine is found primarily on solution pools, shallow basins on rocky outcrops that contain seasonal pools as on Stone Mountain or Arabia Mountain.

It is listed as an endangered species by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.