Selaginella borealis

Epithet means "of the north."

description: Small, tightly woven, thin threads of dark green braided foliage zigzag with airy twigs of scattering branches. The stalks are short and grow from slowly creeping wiry underground stems.

range and habitat: This is primarily a native of extremely cold habitats from China through Mongolia to Russia. There it grows on the exposed steppes adjacent to Lake Baikal, which at 5720 ft. (1720 m) is the world's deepest lake. In spite of this stressful northern location, and because of the moderating temperatures created by the lake, there is little or no winter snow cover. Therefore, the native plants of the surrounding areas are small and very tough weather-resistant cushions.

culture and comments: Here is a dwarf charmer for the foreground or focal point in a container. It would be lost in a garden setting. Surprisingly, it has behaved quite respectably in

The branching, wiry foliage of the creeping Selaginella borealis forms a small, expanding patch in the Jessen rock garden.

my humid greenhouse where I placed it to encourage new growth (both top and root). Horticulturally promising, it is equal to Selaginella sanguinolenta var. compressa in structure and ornamental appeal.

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