Spikemoss

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Spikemoss
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Selaginella-sp.jpg



Selaginella sp.
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Lycopodiophyta
Class:Selaginellopsida
Order:Selaginellales
Family:Selaginellaceae
Genus:Selaginella
Species

See text

Spikemoss refers to any plant of the genus Selaginella in the family Selaginellaceae. Many workers still place the Selaginellales in the class Lycopsida (modern nomenclature: Lycopodiopsida). This group of plants are considered to be part of the fern allies.

The spikemosses are creeping or ascendant plants with simple, scale-like leaves on branching stems from which roots also arise. The plants are heterosporous.

There are about 700 species of Selaginella, showing a wide range of characters; the genus is overdue for a revision which might include subdivision into several genera. Better-known spikemosses include:

  • Selaginella selaginoides -- Lesser clubmoss (north temperate Europe, Asia and North America)
  • Selaginella apoda -- Meadow spikemoss (eastern North America)
  • Selaginella eclipes -- Hidden spikemoss (eastern North America)
  • Selaginella rupestris -- Rock spikemoss (eastern North America)
  • Selaginella kraussiana -- Krauss's spikemoss (Africa, Azores)

Many species of Selaginella are desert plants known as "resurrection plants", because they curl up in a tight, brown or reddish ball during dry times, and uncurl and turn green in the presence of moisture. Other species are tropical forest plants that appear at first glance to be ferns.da:Dværgulvefod-familien (Selaginellaceae) de:Moosfarngewächse

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