categoryZMosses Mosses & Clubmosses List 

categoryZEvergreen Evergreen List 

LESSER CLUBMOSS

Selaginella selaginoides

Lesser Clubmosses Family [Selaginellaceae]

Green Parts:
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category
category8Mosses
category
category8Evergreen
status
statusZnative
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

14th June 2013, Cym Idwal, North Wales. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The erect fertile stems are only weakly erect, growing to 6cm high (occasionally to 10cm). The infertile stems are unusual for Clubmosses in being either upright or decumbent, grow up to 15cm long, and are not flattened. The plant is moss-like in appearance.


14th June 2013, Cym Idwal, North Wales. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The cones at the summit are rather ill-defined. Unlike most Clubmosses (all others?) the leaves come in just one shape. The leaves lower down are are 1 to 3mm long, but those in the indistinct cone at the top, although similar in shape, are a little larger.

These are fertile stems; the rather large sporangia are in the axils of the leaves, those in the cones at the summit slightly larger.

Here the leaves have distinct short hairs on their edges. Other books say they are spiny teeth. It is strange that no mention is made of these hairs or teeth in Clive Staces' book. Both the leaves and the cones-scales have these hairs/teeth, the only difference between the two is that the cone-scales are just slightly larger than the leaves (apart from the whitish fertile cones within the cone-scales).


It is native and found in damp places on mountains amongst moss or short grass. It is a perennial and is locally common in the North West of Britain, especially Scotland, Cumbria, the Northern Fells, Cardiganshire and North Yorkshire. Also in the northern and western parts of Ireland. It does not seem to avoid the coast either. It grows on fells or mountains up to 1065m high. Apparently it isn't fussy about alkaline or acid soils, it can grow in short vegetation on open, moist base-rich fens, or in mires and wet upland grassland, in mountain flushes and on dune slacks (which are acidic).


  Selaginella selaginoides  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Selaginellaceae  

Distribution
 family8Lesser Clubmosses family8Selaginellaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Selaginella
Selaginella
(Lesser Clubmosses)

LESSER CLUBMOSS

Selaginella selaginoides

Lesser Clubmosses Family [Selaginellaceae]