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Create GLOWING PLANTS using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler's software - the first step in creating sustainable natural lighting
Create GLOWING PLANTS using synthetic biology and Genome Compiler's software - the first step in creating sustainable natural lighting
8,433 backers pledged $484,013 to help bring this project to life.

Orbella Fragrant Moss is Shipping!

Posted by Antony Evans (Creator)


I'm excited to announce we have finally started shipping Orbella Fragrant Moss. In this update we've got some more information on the product, information on how to use your credit from backing this Kickstarter to get one and an invitation to a party we are having on August 3rd to celebrate this milestone.

Introducing Orbella Fragrant Moss
Introducing Orbella Fragrant Moss

Thank you for your patience over all these years. For the team and I this is a major milestone on a journey that has been long and full of setbacks. We would never have got here without your backing this Kickstarter all those years ago and showing the world that biotechnology doesn't have to be done by big companies or major research institutions. 

I know some of you will be disappointed that this isn't glowing yet, and I'm sorry for that. This is the closest thing to that we've been able to make so far. Orbella represents many of the same values: it's a symbol of a future where we engineer living things for new functions. Biology is the ultimate sustainable technology, nature uses sunlight, CO2 and water to create useful products creating only biodegradable waste. I hope that Orbella can positively change the public’s perception of GMOs and inspire a new generation of bioengineers to create a greener future for us all.

As we've discussed in previous updates the plan is to use the profits from selling this moss to keep working on the glowing plant project. One day we will finally crack it! In the meantime you can apply the amount you backed this project as a credit to get the moss, full details below.

About Orbella Fragrant Moss

As you may remember from previous updates Orbella will ship in a glass terrarium, and once you set it up it will look like this:

Orbella Moss
Orbella Moss

The benefit of Orbella over traditional home fragrance products is that we don't have to dissolve the fragrance in a container. Typically containers are solvents or other petroleum based materials (eg wax) which evaporate into the air along with the fragrance. Orbella is cleaner – the fragrance is made right there in situ in your home from sunlight, CO2 and water – and as a result no solvents, phthalates or petroleum by-products get into your air.

At launch Orbella comes in three flavors:

  • Patchouli, an earthy scent enjoyed throughout the centuries. 
  • Linalool, a fresh and floral scent. 
  • Geraniol, a rose-like scent found in natural mosquito repellants* 

This is still very much version one, you can smell the moss but it's not strong enough to fill a room yet - that will take more R&D. The patchouli and linalool flavors are much stronger than the geraniol so we recommend those. 

We've put a lot of thought and effort into the packaging to create the lightest environmental footprint we can. To protect the glass orb during shipping we are using a new mushroom based packaging made by Ecovative. This packaging is grown in a mold from waste cellulose materials (eg woodchips or leaf mulch) and when you are done with it you can compost it, leaving zero waste.

Ecovative Mushroom Packaging
Ecovative Mushroom Packaging

 Orbella Ships in a kit to protect during shipping, once you get it you follow these setup instructions:


How to redeem your credit

You can order Orbella by following this link:

Once you have selected a flavor you can apply one of the following discount codes where the number is based on the level you backed the project at:

  • GLOWINGPLANT40 - for $40 tier of Glowing Plant seeds
  • GLOWINGPLANT65 - for $65 tier of recycled vase or rootcup
  • GLOWINGPLANT80 - for $80 tier of minimalist vase
  • GLOWINGPLANT90 - for $90 tier of the book
  • GLOWINGPLANT120 - for $120 tier for early bird glowing plant + rose
  • GLOWINGPLANT150 - for $150 tier for plant and rose
  • GLOWINGPLANT250 - for $250 tier for the maker-kit

You must use the email address on file with Kickstarter for the discount codes to work. If you have any issues with this working please send me a message through the Kickstarter messaging platform.

We will ship out the moss in the order in which we receive orders. We are ramping up product but currently only have 400 units to ship before the end of August.

If you have enjoyed the educational nature of our updates you can opt into continuing to receive our newsletter when you order your Orbella.

Celebrate Orbella Launch

To celebrate this milestone we are hosting an event in San Francisco on August 3rd and we'd love you to come and celebrate with us. As well as showcasing Orbella we plan to have an exhibit of some of the other interesting consumer biodesign products being developed. You can find more information here:

Orbella Packaging
Orbella Packaging


Thanks again for your patience getting here. I'm excited to see what you think of it!


* We have not tested Orbella Geraniol as a mosquito repellent. More information on geraniol's mosquito repelling properties can be found here.

Nick Zakhar, Brian Scroggs, and 14 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      TJ on

      Since contributing $150 to the campaign I've moved to London. Will i be able to get some of the enhanced moss?

    2. white-devil on

      Sooo, this does NOT ship to Europe or am I missing something here?

    3. Colin MacKenzie on

      I just read an article that wasnt exactly positive on this campaign. I felt compelled to post. I pledged to this campaign and I knew the risk. Bio programming like this is new and this project was a moon shot for sure. I didn't expect to get anything back. I just believed in the people and wanted to help give it a chance. These guys worked extremely hard and although they didnt reach their goal they added valuable scientific knowledge to humanity. They did make glowing plants afterall, just not bright enough so it wasnt a total fail. One day when genetic programming takes another leap, and it will, I will walk down a park street lit by bioluminescence with my daughter and tell her, "I helped make that happen." That would be worth my investment. I am not interested in the moss, but I DONT REGRET MY INVESTMENT IN THE LEAST. I'm still a believer. �

    4. Missing avatar

      m.g. marciano on

      Are Kickstarter code users eligible for the Orbella V2 upgrade that's mentioned on the Orbella site for pre-September orders?

    5. CJ Johnson on

      I don't see any options other than a $79 moss even though I backed at the $150 level.

    6. Missing avatar

      Andrew Perks on

      Asking again.... An answer / refund would be nice.

      I backed at the $150 level, applied the code during checkout and was still charged $91.56. I used the same email address and everything.

    7. Jay Mutzafi on

      So i pledged $40 but you only produce something at $79 so if I want to get something I have to pay extra basically? Otherwise forgo my contribution?

    8. Missing avatar

      Chuck Lunney on

      Any update on the Orbella codes? Are we going to get the full amount of our pledge to apply to the moss order?

    9. David Wild on

      Anthony: Thank you :)

    10. Antony Evans Creator on

      David: Vanilla isn't on our initial roadmap, but I know it's possible so we'll add it to the future scents.

    11. Timothy Roller

      Never mind, answered before I updated. ;)

    12. Timothy Roller

      Will the moss need further nutrient gel in the future? How do we keep it happy, nutrient-wise?

    13. Missing avatar

      Andrew Perks on

      I backed at the $150 level, applied the code during checkout and was still charged $91.56. I used the same email address and everything.

    14. David Wild on

      Reading through the comments, I'm happy to hear the glowing plants is going to continue. I'm really looking forward to that. At the same time, these look pretty awesome as well. Just ordered up mine.
      For a question on upcoming plans. Do you have any plans for a vanilla scented moss? I think statistically, men tend to like the fragrance of vanilla, while most woman don't care much one way or the other. I know I like vanilla, and my wife doesn't mind it, but she could go without it.

    15. Antony Evans Creator on

      James: it doesn't need refreshing of the goo. The goo is mainly used to provide a cushion for the moss until it attaches to the rocks and to prevent it being shocked when it goes from the humid shipping dish to the open air. 'Live as long as you want' is a little open ended because it should keep propagating if properly cared for, but we've only had these around for a few months so don't really have data yet on the long term. I'll update the FAQ to be clearer.

    16. Antony Evans Creator on

      Chuck - let me look into that. I setup all these codes late on Monday night so there have been a few glitches.

    17. Missing avatar


      Meant to ask, and I can't find it on the Orbella page- Does it need regular refreshing of the nutrient goo? "Lives as long as you want it to with proper care and watering" is a little open-ended and I'm not quite sure what's involved there.

    18. Missing avatar

      Chuck Lunney on

      I backed for the $250 tier, and I was hoping that I'd have enough credit to get two Orbella scents, but I only get $120 in credit, meaning I have to pay an additional $38, plus shipping! Why does the highest tier not get full credit? Is this a glitch in the system?

    19. Missing avatar

      Alexey on

      Wow. Fantastic news! Congratulations on reaching another major milestone!
      I will buy both patchouli and linalool versions.

    20. Antony Evans Creator on

      Wilson: The credit is meant for now. If we make Glowing Moss people will get that whether they use the credit or not. At some stage we'll turn the credit off, I'm not really sure when yet, mainly it's meant for the fragrant moss now rather than a permanent balance sheet liability.

    21. Wilson Wong on

      Antony, if you guys are working on a glowing moss, is there any reason to not use the discount now and wait for later? Or does this discount apply just for this release and the ones that follow are their own thing? :x

    22. Antony Evans Creator on

      James: yes, that's it. Sorry I didn't explain it very well.

    23. Missing avatar


      Oh, I get it! The pledge amount is a discount off the fragrant moss, but we also get the glowing plant if it can ever be created. That takes a bit (not all) of the edge off the moss' sticker-shock.

    24. fmachard on

      Although I appreciate the gesture, having to pay another $50 isn't exactly what I'd call a deal either.

    25. Wilson Wong on

      "Brian: this credit doesn't affect your backing of the Glowing Plant. We are still working on that."
      This comment sounds like you're essentially doubling everyone's pledge amount, once copy to be spent now, and once to be spent later?

      This was a bit confusing.

    26. Missing avatar

      Shalev NessAiver on

      Hi, I backed the $90 tier, and expected the full $90 to be applied to my order, but the shipping cost was NOT discounted from my total. It's still asking me to pay for shipping, despite the total being less than $90.

    27. Antony Evans Creator on

      Nicholas: I didn't know you could back multiple times, but if you used different email addresses then you should just be able to use those. Send me a message rather than comment and I'll look into the details.

    28. Nicholas R. Jenkins on

      What credits do the different codes give you? Say I backed multiple times...

    29. Antony Evans Creator on

      Fanny: can you send me a message, it's hard to resolve this in comments as I need to see your email address. Most likely you are using a different email to the one we have.

    30. Fanny Luor on

      I get this message when I try to checkout—"Customer information does not meet the requirements for the GLOWINGPLANT40 discount code." Is there any reason for this? Thanks!

    31. Antony Evans Creator on

      Joeseph: We haven't had much luck with that method, it keeps getting contaminated when we try it. The same basic principles apply though, blend it up and then give it a nutrient media. If you email me I can send you instructions for a media we use successfully.

    32. Antony Evans Creator on

      Folks, something is wrong with the Glowingplant120 codes - I'm trying to fix. All the others seem to be working fine.

    33. Dion on

      Moss purchased! Kudos to Anthony Evans for offering us the moss minus our pledge amounts. My wife is an Earth Science teacher and I'm sure she will appreciate the surprise gift. I still hope one day to have a glowing plant in my front yard, so I hope this purchase will help you continue on that path.

    34. Tina Tamer

      I really like how this was handled!

      The moss looks really cool & as a backer that has been burned many times, it is nice to see a project not just written off by the creator by saying "we ran out of money, so sorry."

      I appreciate that you are still working to become a viable business and satisfy the Kickstarter community. Kudos & thank you!

    35. Joeseph Rodrigues on

      Can the moss be propagated like conventional moss using the blender and milk method?

    36. Timothy Roller

      Very cool! Hopefully it'll be in budget for me next month!

    37. Antony Evans Creator on

      Brian: this credit doesn't affect your backing of the Glowing Plant. We are still working on that.

    38. Jordan York on

      How soon will the moss be shipping? Also, can it be shipped to Canada? I am moving to Alberta in a month. Just wondering what my options are.

    39. Josh Barrett on

      Moss is cool. Having to dish out another 40 bones... ehh. 20 would have been a bit more palatable, but I get it.

    40. BJ Tomiko

      If we don't use our Glowing Plant credit right now, can we save it and use it later on a later/stronger version of the moss or a potential future Glowing Plant, or is this the only chance to claim a credit against the Kickstarter pledges?

    41. Brian Jackson on

      I'm willing to wait and don't want to spend another $40 on moss I didn't back. Is there any alternatives?

    42. Missing avatar

      Nick Zakhar

      I admit I am disappointed not to have a glowing plant. Having said that, the moss is pretty darn cool! Looking forward to it!