The names "little lycopodiums" or "little wolf paws" are applied to this diminutive former "fern ally" (see Selaginella for comments), a recent segregate genus from Lycopodium. Ly-copodiella is botanically distinct by having primitive vertical cones carried as broad extensions from the upright shoots, and having those same upright shoots unbranched. They are not really candidates for cultivation but can be enjoyed in their wild habitats where they hybridize at will.
Lycopodiella alopecuroides (fox tail), synonym Lycopodium alopecuroides, is an acid bog species with horizontal, sterile perennial stems distinguished by their arching habit. The tips root as they inch about in sandy peat. The fertile upright foot-tall (30-cm) "foxtails" are deciduous and topped with a
Large umbrellas of fronds on Hypolepis rugosula arch over surrounding plants in the Peters garden.
A canopy of huge Lophosoria quadripinnata fronds dwarfs the creeping plants of Gleichenia squamulosa in the Alerce Andino National Park in Chile. Photo by Richie Steffen, Miller Botanical Garden.
Minute twists of Lemmaphylhim microphylhim decorate a tree trunk in the Fernery at the Morris Arboretum.
Drapes of fertile fronds of Lophosoria quadripinnata. Photo by Richie Steffen, Miller Botanical Garden.
toothed 1- to 2-in. (2.5- to 5-cm) cone. Native populations extend from New England to the Gulf Coast.
Lycopodiella appressa (lying close together), synonym Lycopodium appressum, is a deciduous bog dweller with slender, rooting, creeping stems. The upright 6- to 15-in. (15- to 38-cm) shoots are pale green and carry the fertile cones as a continuation of the stalk. These are not showy plants, but the sharp-eyed enthusiast can spot and enjoy them on the muddy or sandy floor of such fascinating habitats as the Pinelands of New Jersey in the company of the extraordinary Schizaea and its array of unusual companions. Its native Zone 6 range extends down the Atlantic Coast of North America to an outlying population in Cuba.
Lycopodiella xcopelandii (after Joseph Copeland, 1907-1990, botany professor at the City College of New York) is a rare hybrid between L. alopecuroides and L. appressa that was discovered and described (as what was then Lycopodium) by my sharp-eyed friend Joan Eiger Gottlieb in 1956. It was the first reported hybrid, of the many now known, for the clubmoss complex. The 8-in. (20-cm), erect stalks support 2-in. (5-cm) cones and have upward-pointing leaves that are mostly without teeth. The creeping stems hug the substrate like L. appressa but occasionally arch, resembling L. alopecuroides. A partially evergreen Zone 4 to 7 bog dweller, it is native from Massachusetts to New Jersey. The type plant was found in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Lycopodiella inundata (of marshes), synonym Lycopodium inundatum, is a small, deciduous bog clubmoss but comparable in physical aspects to Lycopodiella appressa. It differs in having horizontal segments that are exceptionally slender, producing one upright shoot rather than several. Its native range is in the cold, more northerly latitudes or high mountain areas southward from Zone 1 northern Canadian extremes to Pennsylvania and West Virginia on the North American East Coast and Montana and Washington on the West. The population range extends from wet habitats above the Arctic Circle in Europe across the polar zones of Russia to their eastern coast and down to Japan.
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