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Spike Moss
Selaginella bigelovii

About Spike Moss (Selaginella bigelovii) Selaginella bigelovii is a species of spikemoss known by the common names bushy spikemoss and Bigelow's spikemoss. It is native to California and Baja California, where it grows in rocky places in many different habitat types, from the coastline to the mountains to the deserts. This lycophyte forms clumps of spreading upright to erect stems up to 20 centimeters long with a few short lateral branches. The linear or lance-shaped green leaves are up to 4 millimeters long, including the tiny rigid bristles at their tips. They are flattened to the stem or stick out just a little. The strobili borne at the leaf bases are yellow-orange in color.

Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
6 in (15.2 cm)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open places, rocks, crevices,

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
3' - 7419'

Annual Precip. ?
4.8" - 50.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.45"

Coldest Month ?
33.5° F - 59.1° F

Hottest Month ?
60.9° F - 87.6° F

Humidity ?
0.68 vpd - 38.37 vpd

Soil Description
Requires thin, rocky soil. Not tolerant of garden soil

Soil PH
5.6 - 7.4


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19

Companion Plants
Although not often used in gardens, Selaginella could be used in a a rock garden with a variety of other native plants.

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Rarely Used

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Bigelow's Spike-moss, Bigelow's Spikemoss, Bushy Spikemoss

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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