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Levi Price
Levi Price

Little Club Moss

Repot in spring when it outgrows its pot. Clubmoss has shallow roots, so a shallow pot will do. Use a pot with a drainage hole to prevent soggy soil, which will lead to root rot. Want to use a decorative pot without drainage holes? Use it as a cachepot. Just slip a plain nursery pot into the cachepot. I put small rocks in the bottom of cachepots to keep the inner pot above the drainage water.

little club moss

Humidity: High -- above 50% relative humidity. Indoor air can become extremely dry during the winter months. Use a humidity monitor, rather than guess -- it's the only sure way to know whether the air is too dry for your houseplants. If the air is dry, mist the plant every morning with room-temperature water or stand the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Keep clubmoss in a terrarium to maintain humidity around it, near a cool-mist room humidifier or in a Wardian case.

Club moss, also known as wolf's claw, is an evergreen plant in ferntribe that is native to Europe. The spores, which are harvested byshaking out the kidney-shaped pods located on the underside of the stemsof the plant, is used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries asan absorbent and dusting powder. The dried plant parts are used in teablends and to produce tinctures and extracts.

descriptionLycopodium clavatum is part of the clubmoss family Lycopodiaceae. It is aspore-bearing vascular plant, growing mainly prostrate along the ground withstems up to 1 m long; the stems are much branched, and densely clothed withsmall spirally-arranged leaves.

common names & nomenclatureLycopodium (Club-moss) is from the Greek Lyco=wolf + podos=foot in reference toeither the branch shoot tips or the roots to a wolf paw. The species name,clavatum is from the Latin clava=club, referring to the shape of the strobili(spore cones).

In early days, clubmoss was used to treat stomach problems and kidneydiseases. The Druids of Celtic days used clubmoss to treat constipation.Native Americans also used clubmoss to help with pain from childbirth and tostop bleeding from wounds. It was also used to cause nosebleeds that wouldrelieve headache pain.

If you suffer from urinary tract infections and kidney problems such ascystitis, you may want to stock up on clubmoss. It can also be used to treatupset stomach, diarrhea, and even some skin conditions.

Clubmoss can also be used to treat pain from injuries of the joints. It canrelieve the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and it can also help to reduceproblems with muscle spasms in the arms and legs.

Chinese club moss is used for Alzheimer's disease and general memory disorders. It is also used for fever, pain and swelling (inflammation), blood loss, and irregular menstrual periods. Some people use it to rid the body of extra fluid by increasing urine production.

Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, blockage of the intestinal or urogenital tracts, gastrointestinal ulcer disease, or seizures: Chinese club moss contains chemicals that can affect the nervous system in such a way that it could harm people with these diseases. If you have one of these conditions, don't use Chinese club moss until more is known.

Chinese club moss contains chemicals that can affect the brain and heart. Some of these drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also affect the brain and heart. But Chinese club moss works differently than drying medications. Chinese club moss might decrease the effects of drying medications.

Chinese club moss contains a chemical that affects the brain. Medications for Alzheimer's also affect the brain. Taking Chinese club moss along with medications for Alzheimer's disease might increase effects and side effects of medications for Alzheimer's disease.

Chinese club moss contains a chemical that affects the body. This chemical is similar to some medications used for glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, and other conditions. Taking Chinese club moss with these medications might increase the chance of side effects.

The appropriate dose of Chinese club moss depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Chinese club moss. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Clubmosses are primitive vascular plants that look like miniature pines or cedars spreading over the forest floor. They evolved around 410 million years ago, even before higher plants and dinosaurs appeared on earth. Today, modern species only grow inches tall, but their ancestors grew as tall as 135 feet. The abundance of tree-like clubmosses, along with horsetails and ferns, dominated the Carboniferous period (which lasted 359.2 to 299 million years ago), and the woody clubmosses created much of the massive coal deposits that are mined today.

Until around 30 years ago, most clubmosses were placed in the genus Lycopodium, but taxonomists have since split these primitive little plants into a number of genera, and in South Carolina, these include Huperzia, Lycopodiella, Diaphasiastrum, Dendrolycopodium, and of course Lycopodium. Many species of these genera are found growing in areas of moist, acidic forests with seepages but also in bogs and wet prairies. However, some species have adapted to grow well in dry or mesic forests and even at higher elevations on balds, rock outcrops, and in forest openings with more sunlight.

However, spore production is not the only means by which clubmosses can spread. They also spread by underground stems (called rhizomes) that grow horizontally, and from these, additional small plants will appear a few inches away.

Other clubmosses, such as this shining clubmoss (Huperzia lucidula), do not send up strobili for spore production, but they have packets of spores formed in small sporangia at the base of their small scale-like leaves (called microphylls).Joey Williamson, 2019 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Growth RateClubmosses are extremely slow growing plants and rely on mycorrhizal fungi to aid in nutrition and to complete their life cycle and growth. It may take as many as 20 years to make another mature plant from spore production and spreading. In past years, clubmosses have been ripped from the ground to use as garland for Christmas decorations. However, because of their slow growth and recovery from harvesting activities, these little clubmosses really should not be harvested. Additionally, they do not transplant well. Therefore, it is best to appreciate these beautiful, evergreen groundcovers in their natural habitats.

I had been eager to visit the peak of Mt. Mansfield for some time because it is one of the only places in Vermont that a certain small clubmoss lives. I mentioned this to the botany students and during a rest break one of them got my attention and asked if the little plant he was pointing to was the one I had mentioned.

Clubmosses are really cool and predate flowering plants by an embarrassingly large span of time. They are not really moss of any type, though they bear a superficial resemblance to the true mosses. Mosses themselves are not true plants, having no vascular tissue, the plant equivalent of our circulatory system. Mosses rely on diffusion to distribute water and nutrients and this imposes strict limits on their size. Clubmosses are more akin to ferns and conifers: they have simple hair-like roots (true mosses have no roots), they have vascular tissue, and, at one point in the extremely distant past (300+ million years ago), their close cousins were the dominant large vegetation reaching one hundred feet above the ground. Now most clubmosses are small, only a few inches tall, although in the Amazon I did encounter one waist high clubmoss near an overgrown pond.

I was interested in the Appalachian Fir-Clubmoss, Huperzia appalachiana, because several years ago I spent a summer in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, climbing about on steep cliffs looking for this plant and trying to figure out how to measure any change populations might experience as the climate changes. It likes acidic, well drained soils over igneous (or highly metamorphic) bedrock that receive frequent moisture, and, unusual for a clubmoss, direct sunlight. It hybridizes easily with several other clubmosses, Shining Clubmoss (Huperzia lucidula), Northern Fir-Clubmoss (Huperzia selago), and Huperzia appressa, which some people do not distinguish from Huperzia appalachiana, making the identification question particularly vexing where the ranges overlap.

The Huperzia genus was recently split from the Lycopodium genus, which is where many of the more familiar clubmosses reside. Like many of the Huperzia, the Appalachian Fir-Clubmoss grows from a dense basal cluster and, unlike many of the Lycopodium, it does not creep about over the ground.

Clubmosses grow in a variety of forms and have been used for some rather unlikely purposes in the past. The spores they produce are tiny and highly flammable, so much so that they were used as flash powder in old time photography. Condoms were dusted with clubmoss spores to keep the rubber from sticking to itself, and diapers are sometimes dusted with the spores to prevent rashes. Today, we mainly use living clubmosses in garlands and ancient clubmosses in our coal burning power-plants.

One of the great things about living in New England is the wonderful variety of local clubmosses. They are delightfully archaic. Deceptively so, considering that they have been living for well over 300 million years and are still common in many places world-wide.

Selaginella kraussiana, also known as club moss, prefers bright, indirect sunlight. If kept indoors, it is best to place the plant near a west or east-facing window, so it receives plenty of light but is not in direct sunlight. Outdoors, it does best in partial shade, although it can tolerate more sun when grown in cooler climates. If grown indoors or in a vivarium, bright artificial lighting is the way to go. 041b061a72


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