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Old 03-08-2012, 08:43 PM
terrestrial_man terrestrial_man is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Santa Maria
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Default Selaginella, subgenus Tetragonostachys

It was several years ago while studying the chaparral for a course taught by Dr. C. H. Muller, I began to notice some moss-like plant that was growing out from underneath rocks in the Sierra Madre of Northern Santa Barbara County. In time, in 1973, I did a rather informal investigation of this plant that I later identified as Selaginella bigelovii in its habitat along the upper slopes of the southeast banks of the Cuyama River.
It was a very interesting habitat consisting of very loose shale-like rocks and assorted gravels with large boulders and outcrops with intermittent appearances of Eriogonum, Silene, Dudleya, Yucca, and grass species, with oaks appearing at the tops of the slopes. What was remarkable to me at the time was the fact that this plant, while green and mossy looking during Spring, would become a
dead looking, dried up, and curled up mass of brownish stems that somehow rejuvenated upon the occasion of rain.
I sought to understand this and after a particularly heavy series of rain storms, I drove out to the area and was able to find a nice sized clump of the Selaginella that had been washed loose from the slope. I took it home as I wanted to see that if I were to water it well and then let it dry out completely if it would come back to life. It did not!
Apparently there was much more going on beneath the surface of its habitat than eye could reconnoiter!
It was not until several years later that I had the opportunity to try and see if I could find out just what enabled the species to survive in such a dynamic environment when I stumbled upon the offerring of Selaginella bigelovii for sale by an online retailer of native ferns up in Washington state.
What follows are journals that I have developed for each of the species that I have been privileged to investigate and been able to cultivate.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CNPS overview of site.pdf (455.0 KB, 1526 views)

Last edited by terrestrial_man; 04-06-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: To add summary of 1973 investigation
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