View Full Version : The Tenacity of Selaginella

11-11-2015, 11:34 PM
Back in January and February, 2015, I began and finished the task of cleaning up and repotting the surviving Selaginella species in my possession. I was sadden by the loss of some, particularly S. oregana, but surprised by the number of species that had hung on despite the random nature of my care after a two and a half month bout with pneumonia in which they received very little care and a subsequent period of inattention and minimal care.
In the process of repotting the survivors I would occasionally break off a piece of a stem or a stem would just fragment through contact. At the time I decided to save these and stuff them together into a pot with the gravel based potting mix I was using and see if they would survive and grow new plants. Most had no rhizophores (root-like structures) though a few of the creeping stem had some. The first image below taken on my final date of repotting, 18 Feb 2015, shows the condition of the stems then.
While I did expect some to survive, I am surprised by just how well the stems have done and by the appearance of a Stachygynandrous species, native to the Eastern USA, Selaginella apoda. This species grew entirely from spores.
Below you will find 3 photos of the growing stems which I took yesterday. Let's look closer at each one:
2015 NOV 11 A: back side view
An overview of the colony showing the low spreading S. apoda in the left foreground with erect and spreading species of the Tetragonostachys.
2015 NOV 11 B: right side view
A close up view showing strobili appearing on some upright stems and some of the stems of S. apoda growing upright, a precusor to forming strobili.
2015 NOV 11 C: front side view
A close up view showing strobili appearing on a conspicuous stem of S. apoda
and on some of the other species as well.
The plants all look quite robust and have fared very well with my culture.
This is a great illustration of perhaps the most successful method of distribution of the Tetragonostachys while the presence of S. apoda, a member of the subgenus Stachygynandrum, illustrates the vitality and success of distribution by spores.