|Monday Melange: Club Moss|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 26 December 2011|
Lycopodium better known as club moss (Lycopodium spp.) or ground pine here in North America is a genus that is found around the world. Classified botanically as one of the fern allies, the club mosses are a creeping, low growing ground cover plant with needle or scale-like leaves that produces no flowers, but reproduce from spores. Although distributed in both temperate and tropical climates, Lycopodium is most often encountered in the northern and boreal forests of the world.
Club moss is a member of the Club Moss plant family (Lycopodiaceae), of which there are 18 members of the Lycopodium genus growing in the US. Its range includes both the east and west coasts (although it may be rarely found), but is not usually present in the middle part of the country from North Dakota south to Texas, or in Nevada. None of the club mosses are invasive, but more than half of them are listed as threatened or endangered.
Lycopodium does not transplant well (and collecting it from the wild is not advised since that contributes to its threatened or endangered status), but it can thrive in the home garden under the right growing conditions. For example if club moss already grows on your property it can probably be cultivated as a ground cover. Club moss prefers shady woodlands with cool temperatures such as northern hardwoods or hemlock or pine forests and moist acidic soils.
Moss Gardening: Including Lichens, Liverworts and Other Miniatures
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America
Photo source: www.twofrog.com