Plant id please!

jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)September 2, 2007

I saw this plant in the "Wilds of Pennsylvania" (North Central area). I love this plant, I've got to get some!

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Really great photo.

I'm pretty sure that's some sort of an eastern Lycopodium. Maybe Lycopodium annotinum? I have no idea what the common name to this plant is because there are well over a hundred of them and many don't have a common name. You might want to run this id by fern and moss people. I've just tried my hand at Lycopodium for the first time this year. I'd never seen any available before at a native plant sale so I snatched up three. Mine are sort of limping along but that could be a result of transplant shock combined with freak weather conditions with virtually no rain for over 10 weeks then one deluge after the next for the past couple of weeks. If those are a Lycopodium, they tend to like lots of acid and they seem to do better when companion planted with other acid loving plants. I've got mine planted in an acid bog where the pH is around 4 with with Cranberry as well as some ferns and miscellaneous. Anything higher than a pH of 5 and the plant allegedly crashes and the root system fails. I'll have to wait until next spring to see how mine will fair. Not much more I can tell you about them other than that I have always liked the looks of them and wanted them too. Little or no experience with any Lycopodium spp. other than seeing them in the wild plus 3 months of owning a different species (Lycopodium clavatum)and that's pretty much worthless since mine are looking only so so. Good luck. They're rhizomatic and supposedly if they like what we provide for them they'll take off.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 11:16PM
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It is most likely Lycopodium clavatum or L. annotinum or maybe L. lucidulum. Running club moss is the common name and in the case of L. annotinum it is called Stiff Club Moss. We have it here in the oak/pine forests. Link below and another here:

Worldwide list (you can find all that grow in the area where you found this one):

Here is a link that might be useful: Stiff Club Moss

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 9:21AM
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That is one gorgeous plant, Jean! Wish I could find some of that here, too! :)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Not easy plants to find for sale. You know anyone with property that could give you a clump with the soil?

Here is a link that might be useful: GW Thread that lists sources to buy

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 4:38PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Thanks for the id and info! I did a little reading on it and it doesn't seem to like to be transplanted. I also read that it is considered endangered in several states. I've never seen it around here, not to say it isn't here but I have no source for it. I found the same message on GW as you did CT and none of the sources mentioned panned out. Our local arboreteum does have a native plant sale and there are a couple of other organizations that sell natives so I will just have to keep my eye out for it. This year is not a good year to try anyway, we are still in a major drought. I've given up watering, the soil is so dry it soaks it up before the plants have a chance. I've lost an entire garden and most of another - big sigh, just when you feel like you are getting somewhere.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:42PM
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Yes, I did a little bit of checking online after I posted and found images for the annotinum and it does look like a dead match complete with fruiting bodies-

I also looked for a herbarium specimen in the catalog and it appeared to be a hit.

I've got the clavatum (wish I could find the annotinum to buy). I read the same thing you did, "it doesn't seem to like to be transplanted" and was also told by the gal who propagated them that they didn't like being transplanted so I was to be careful that the pH was as close to 4 as possible. Evidently chances of survival are considerably lower, if not virtually non-existant, if they are field collected because their root systems are brittle. I didn't notice this but then again I didn't handle the roots at all. I would have to agree that they don't like being transplanted and mine were container grown. I literally snipped the pots off mine by slicing them down the sides to reduce stress to the plants and sunk the whole contents straight into the bog. I was careful and the plants still look hokey to me and it's three months later. I think the lack of rain took a toll on many plants but they may perk up by next year. Who knows. It's a wait and see game with this weird weather.

If you ever find any of these online somewhere for sale, please let me know.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 12:15AM
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Too bad you can't find some spores and fill a pot with surrounding soil and let them drop.

If you transplant take all the soil surround in a large area so as not to disturb the roots (or as little as possible).

Or....try running cedar. It's more common.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:29PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Thanks CT, I'll look into the running cedar.

I've got some pictures of ferns too that I think are cinnamon ferns that I will post later. The forest floor was covered with them.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:59PM
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It is whorled and not straight up like your plant but has the cones and is evergreen year round. Clubmoss is not moss but related to ferns. The good thing about running cedar it grows in drier forests and might do just fine in your forested area by your creek bed. One thing I found out about it, the powder from the spores can create light used by photographers. I need to find that website again. Here is another one that shows the running cedar. The local name for it here is Crow's Feet. People used to collect it at Christmas when I was a child but they don't do that much anymore. I've seen it many times in my treks through various wooded areas in Maryland. When I do see it I see ALOT of it and then move a few hundred feet and there will be none.

Hey - I noticed in your PA photo there are red leaves that have fallen. Some of our trees - due to drought - are turning early. Black gum will do that any year but I've noticed some maples doing it and almost all the sycamore.

Here is a link that might be useful: Running Cedar

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 8:25PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Now that I looked at the running cedar, I do know that plant, it is very common at the local reserve. It is a cool moss and should do well under my cedar trees so I will be looking for that one as well. I've always loved mosses but other than in the pond I've never really tried to grow them. I have large areas in the "lawn" (and I use that term quite loosely) where moss grows - unfortunately it is also the raccoons favorite spot for digging for grubs. And it gets quite a few weeds in it, any suggestions for keeping the weeds out?

Here are the ferns that were growing everywhere, are these cinnamon ferns? I don't know ferns either so I'm just guessing. These seemed to do well in dry woods so I was thinking they might do well for me ....

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Doesn't look like Cinnamon Fern to me. You have what looks like two different ferns in the photo. One looks a lot like a Dryopteris and the other one is sort of hard because I don't know my ferns too well and I can't see the back side.

Another really nice photo particularly with that moss covered rock in the background.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:21AM
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It looks like Athyrium filix-femina 'Lady Fern' to me but I'm no fern expert by far!

Moss grows in areas of the lawn that are low in certain nutrients. To grow moss on rocks I know they use buttermilk to feed it. Once again - not a fern person much.

I have a few. Cinnamon ferm is larger than what I see in the photo.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 12:28PM
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