Selaginella, African clubmoss
Vascular – Exotic
Lycophytes (clubmosses, selaginella, quillworts)
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Terrestrial. A lowland plant of sites with moderate fertility. Occurs mainly in damp, shaded sites eg tall forest, low forest, scrub, forest margins and streambanks.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Small, carpet-forming groundcover. Roots long, fine. Stems creeping, slender, irregularly branched, rooting at nodes, forming loose mat. Leaves in rows, 2-4 mm. Spore cones rounded, 10 mm long.
Superficially similar to many native mosses and leafy liverworts. It is actually a fern-ally that bears small cones underneath the leaves.
Perennial. The plant has an eternal life span as it just keeps growing. Spores are dispersed by wind, boots, feet, stock and machinery. Stem fragments can be dispersed by soil and water movement as well as human activities.
Spores are thought to be viable for more than a year (Carol West, pers. comm.). Reproduces sexually by releasing spores. Also reproduces vegetatively by creeping stems with adventitious roots. Spores are produced, in cones on the undersides of the leaves.
Reason for introduction
The plant is intolerant to drought and tolerant to shade and poor drainage. Resprouts after physical damage.
National Pest Plant Accord species
This plant is listed in the 2020 National Pest Plant Accord. The National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA) is an agreement to prevent the sale and/or distribution of specified pest plants where either formal or casual horticultural trade is the most significant way of spreading the plant in New Zealand. For up to date information and an electronic copy of the 2020 Pest Plant Accord manual (including plant information and images) visit the MPI website.
To learn about the various control techniques for this species visit the Weedbusters website.