[Lesser Clubmosses and Spikemosses: The Genus Selaginella East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Cliff Spikemoss, Rocky Mountain Spikemoss

Selaginella scopulorum

Synonyms: Selaginella densa, Selaginella densa var. scopulorum, Selaginella engelmannii var. scopulorum

Cliff Spikemoss, Rocky Mountain Spikemoss: Selaginella scopulorum (Synonyms: Selaginella densa, Selaginella densa var. scopulorum, Selaginella engelmannii var. scopulorum)

A close-up of one of the ascending branches of Rocky Mountain spikemoss. The vegetative leaves of this species are dissimilar, with those of the lower sid of stem (those on the convex side of the curved branch) somewhat longer than those on the upper side. Also note the ovate blade of the leaf with a medial, longitudinal groove on each leaf. Both Selaginella watsonii and Selaginella wallacei have stem leaves that are more linear (and uniform in width throughout) in shape with a fainter medial groove.

Cliff Spikemoss, Rocky Mountain Spikemoss: Selaginella scopulorum (Synonyms: Selaginella densa, Selaginella densa var. scopulorum, Selaginella engelmannii var. scopulorum) - Habitat of Cliff Spikemoss, Rocky Mountain Spikemoss: Selaginella scopulorum (Synonyms: Selaginella densa, Selaginella densa var. scopulorum, Selaginella engelmannii var. scopulorum)

Note the compactly branched, cushion form of Rocky Mountain spikemoss with the numerous branches tightly ascending. The photo at right shows a granitic bald where the Rocky Mt. spikemoss at left was seen. Viewed downhill towards the south to the Little Spokane River drainage in the Little Spokane River Natural Area................December 28, 2011.

Paul Slichter