Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring

ledge spikemoss

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Ledge spikemoss has the widest range of any spikemoss (Selaginella) in North America. It grows on dry, exposed rock, sometimes packed sand or gravel.

Habitat

Cliffs, balds, or ledges, grassland, meadows and fields, ridges or ledges

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf shape
the vegetative leaves are short and scale-like
Spore leaf arrangement
the sporophylls are located on spore cones at the tips of the shoots or branches
Form of shoot
the plant has an upright stem, and the stem has simple branches
Horizontal stem
the horizontal stem is on the surface of the ground
Leaf differences
the vegetative leaves within a node are all similar in size and shape
Teeth on leaf edges
the edges of the vegetative leaves have no teeth
Constriction zones
  • NA
  • there are no constrictions on the vertical stem with smaller leaves
Leaf outline
  • the vegetative leaves are widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip (lanceolate)
  • the vegetative leaves are long and very narrow (linear)
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Gemma arrangement
    NA
    Gemma shape
    NA
    Gemma width
    0 mm
  • Leaves
    Leaf differences
    the vegetative leaves within a node are all similar in size and shape
    Leaf length
    2.5–4.5 mm
    Leaf orientation
    • the vegetative leaves are pressed against the stem
    • the vegetative leaves spread slightly away from the stem, at a steep angle
    Leaf outline
    • the vegetative leaves are widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip (lanceolate)
    • the vegetative leaves are long and very narrow (linear)
    Leaf ranks
    NA
    Leaf shape
    the vegetative leaves are short and scale-like
    Pores on leaves
    there are pores, but only on the underside of the vegetative leaves
    Teeth on leaf edges
    the edges of the vegetative leaves have no teeth
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • cliffs, balds, or ledges
    • grasslands
    • meadows or fields
    • ridges or ledges
  • Spores or spore cones
    Cone base at stem
    the base of the spore-cone does not have a distinct stalk
    Cone stalk branching
    the stalks bearing the spore cones are unbranched
    Cone thickness
    0 mm
    Length of cone
    5–35 mm
    Number of cones
    0–1
    Quillwort itssue covering spores
    NA
    Same or different spores
    there are two different types of spores present
    Spore leaf arrangement
    the sporophylls are located on spore cones at the tips of the shoots or branches
    Spore leaf lifespan
    the sporophylls wither and fall off at the end of the growing season
    Spore leaf orientation
    the sporophylls are pressed against the spore cone
    Spore leaf shape
    the spore-bearing leaves are small and scale-like
    Sporophyll ranks
    the sporophylls line up to form an X (4 ranks of leaves)
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branch cross-section
    NA
    Branch form
    NA
    Constriction zones
    • NA
    • there are no constrictions on the vertical stem with smaller leaves
    Form of shoot
    the plant has an upright stem, and the stem has simple branches
    Horizontal stem
    the horizontal stem is on the surface of the ground
    Horizontal stem length
    20–60 mm
    Horizontal stem thickness
    0.9–1.1 mm
    Stem height
    0 mm

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
uncommon to fairly widespread (S-rank: S3S4), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)
Rhode Island
concern (code: C)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Bryodesma rupestre (L.) Soják
  • Lycopodium rupestre L.

Genus

Selaginella

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring N

ledge spikemoss. Bryodesma rupestre (L.) Soják; Lycopodium rupestre L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT; throughout. Dry, exposed rock of various pH, less frequently on packed sand and gravel.