Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella kraussiana (Kunze) A. Braun

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten






Lycopodium kraussianum Kunze
Selaginella hortensis Mett.

Common name


Plant widely creeping, mat-forming, up to 50 cm long, ultimate branches ascending, rooting for most of its length. Leaves dimorphic; lateral leaves oblong-elliptic, apex pointed, base rounded, unequal, 3-4 × 0.75-1.5 mm, lateral leaves larger and more spreading than median leaves; median leaves lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, apex pointed, base cordate and unequal, margins finely toothed, 2-2.5 x 0.6-0.7 mm. Strobili situated on short side branches, 5-8 x 2 mm; sporophylls similar but narrower than the median leaves, of one type only.


Can be confused with S. goudotiana which is more erect, roots are produced from the base of the stem only. S. mitteni is a smaller moss-like species that lies flat against the ground.


kraussiana: type specimen collected by Dr. F. von Krauss (1812-1890), a German naturalist & director of the Natural History Museum in Stuttgart.


On forest floor in moist evergreen forest, often where a break in the canopy slightly increases the light intensity; extends up to montane regions, erica zone, bamboo and grasslands.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Azores, Canary Isl., Madeira, naturalised in parts of S Europe.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



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