Help with Forest Floor Finds Please!

countrycottageklutzOctober 15, 2013

During a far too long, far too strenuous wander throught the fall colours of Muskoka, Ontario (Canada) I came across these two plants that I'd love to know the names of please!
Some details:
1) Although growing together, I don't think they are the same plant.
2) Growing in a predominantly hemlock/hardwood part of the forest, even though the forest floor is covered with windblown maple/oak leaves. Damp/soggy even boggy ground conditions, although the "norfolk piney" clumps were slightly bigger/sturdier further from the wet foot areas.
3) The more "norfolk pine" of the two was 10cm/4" tall, soft, no scent that I could discern when rubbed/brushed, and the branches seemed to almost whorl around the main stem/trunk. Grew in bunches/clumps.
4) The straight spikey, brilliant green plant grew in the same area as the first, intermingled even, but the growth pattern was different. It grew in straight lines, across the forest floor, rhizome style as opposed to seeds, cuttings or ? The only smell I could discern was.....green LOL.

I apologize for the giant pictures! Trying to get as much detail in here, so I am not wasting your time.

Last question: in the first picture, are the small heart shaped leaves a wild violet or? Have a great day, and thanks for reading!

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eaga(7a Long Island, NY)

For the plants in your first picture, you might look up pics of Lycopodium and see if they are what you discovered. Last year at this time during our own far to long and strenuous wander through the woods we found Lycopodium obscurum growing on the leafy forest floor. We are down here in Suffolk County, New York.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:52AM
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countrycottageklutz

Thanks Ceris! Much appreciated ID on the Lycopodium. I am going to assume that the plants I found that seemingly match very closely to your ID, are just not as tall or "strong" due to growing with little to no light due to the huge stands of timber they are growing in.

"as well as the use of its spores for flash powder"..hmmm could have used some of that yesterday to blast my way out of this ever so lovely, yet never ending hike over hill and dale, granite rock outcroppings, trip roots, and glacial boulder faces!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Mod317(5b)

The small heart shaped leaves look like violets to me.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:32PM
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naturegirl_2007(5B SW Michigan)

Your first picture looks like it shows 2 different species of lycopods. They never grow very big and usually grow in shaded areas. The spore stalks are helpful for identifying some of the club mosses to species.

Hmmm, maybe I'll try for a flash powder spore fireball next time I'm out when the forest isn't dry. Fireball, yes! Forest fire, NO!!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:16PM
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countrycottageklutz

Thanks Naturegirl :) I assumed they were "familial", at first thinking the spikier of the two was younger growth, but in actuality the spikier plant was a good 2"-3" taller, and most except for the ones I took pictures of LOL, had a 2" yellow/gold spike on the top, rather like new growth on full height/size pines, which seemed odd in that in a few weeks these plants will be under snow. Ah well, I'm not likely to be swashbuckling my way back there til spring, but I was rather enamoured with this delicate appearing swath of plants in a rather harsh terrain.

Thanks for your help everyone :) Having read a few pages online regarding the homeopathic uses of these plants, apparently I should be cured of all that ails me, except the charliehorse thighs I encountered the following day!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:18AM
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