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Paul Wilson & Thomas J. Rosatti

Stem: wiry, generally rooting adventitiously [or not], branching variable, generally not fragile when dry. Leaf: many, simple, overlapped, appressed, small, ± scale-like, 1-veined, generally grooved abaxially [or not] nearly to tip, generally ± of 2 kinds ("under-leaves" under main stem, "over-leaves" over it). Cone: paired or 1, terminal, generally 4-sided, fertile leaves not like sterile, generally strongly keeled. Sporangia: 1 per leaf axil, 2 kinds, male (generally more distal in cones, spores many, small), female (spores (1)4, large, generally orange-yellow).
1 genus, ± 700 species: worldwide, generally tropics, warm temperate. [Valdespino 1993 FNANM 2:38–63] —Scientific Editors: Alan R. Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti.

(Latin: small Selago, ancient name for some Lycopodium) Some cultivated as groundcover, curiosity: Selaginella kraussiana (Kunze) A. Braun; Selaginella lepidophylla (Hook. & Grev.) Spring, resurrection plant. Hand lens, generally at ± 20×, required for leaves (shape, margin, awn at tip), cones. Selaginella kraussiana may be naturalized in California, differs from native California taxa in leaves lacking abaxial groove.
Unabridged note: All native California taxa in subgenus Tetragonostachys.

Key to Selaginella

S. watsonii Underw.
Plant in shaggy cushions, dense to ± open but branches generally close enough to ± obscure internodes, shoots with a robust, braided appearance; green aging ± orange-tan then gray. Leaf: of main stems 1.5–4 mm, 0.4–0.7 mm wide, lance-linear to oblong, decurrent, base glabrous; distance from end of abaxial groove to base of awn generally > 1/3 maximum leaf width, tips of leaves of sterile stems ± thickened around end of abaxial groove; awn 0.2–0.5 mm, generally entire, rigid. Cone: 5–35 mm.
Open rocky sites, conifer forest, alpine; 1350–4100 m. Klamath Ranges (Trinity Alps), High Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, n East of Sierra Nevada, White and Inyo Mountains, n Desert Mountains (Telescope Peak); to Oregon, Montana, Utah. [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Selaginella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Selaginella watsonii Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.