T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Selaginella kraussiana (African Clubmoss)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta
Class: Selaginellopsida
Order: Selaginellales
Family: Selaginellaceae Genus: Selaginella
Species: S. kraussiana 
Binomial name: Selaginella kraussiana 
Common names: Krauss's spikemoss and
Spikey African Clubmoss. Spikey African Clubmoss.

Selaginella kraussiana is found naturally in the Canary Islands, the Azores and many parts of mainland Africa. S. kraussiana is listed on the New Zealand National Pest Plant Accord as an invasive species. It is common in many parts of New Zealand where it forms extensive dense carpets in damp shaded sites. Found growing on damp forest floors, stream banks, gardens, nurseries, shade houses and ferneries. Though reproducing by spore it also is spread by fragments of the stems being carried by livestock, tramping boots and machinery.
It has sterile leaves of two sizes. The two lateral rows have spreading oval leaves, 3-4 mm long, with pointed tips. The two upper rows have leaves 2-3 mm long flattened against the stems and with tapering tips. 
Selaginella kraussiana stems are creeping, irregularly-branched, rooting at the nodes, forming a loose mat. Its roots form long fine aerial roots from the nodes. Spores are borne on stalkless, rounded cones up to 1 cm long, laterally placed on the stems



Photos below of Seginella kraussiana, illustrating a greener colouration when grown in brighter light conditions.