Selaginella P. Beauv.
tropical and southern Africa and Asia
(three species plus cultivated hybrids and varieties)
Selaginella kraussiana (Kunze) A. Braun
S. uncinata (Desv. ex Poir.) Spring
S. willdenowii (Desv. ex Poir.) Baker
introduced to Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Europe and the United States
Selaginella kraussiana, S. uncinata, and S. willdenowii are considered significant weeds in several countries.
Small to medium, fern-like. Spore-producing generation (sporophyte) is dominant, formed of evergreen, creeping to climbing stems. Stem is pinnately branched, angular with parallel grooves, glabrous; rhizophores present, basal spinelike protuberances may be present. Leaves arranged in 2 median and 2 lateral rows, delicate, papery, iridescent blue green. Median leaves ovate-lanceolate, transparent to green; apex acuminate; base auriculate; margin entire or dentate. Lateral leaves ovate to oblong; apex acute to rounded; base typically auriculate; margin entire or dentate. Spore-producing generation (sporophyte) emersed.
moist areas along lakes, streams, rivers, and spring runs, under shrubs, in moist woods and hammocks