Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella kraussiana (Kunze) A. Braun

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: P. Ballings






Lycopodium kraussianum Kunze
Selaginella hortensis Mett.

Common name


Fern widely creeping, mat-forming, erect ultimate branches, rooting for most of its length. Leaves dimorphic; lateral leaves oblong-elliptic, 3-4 × 0.75-1.5 mm, larger and more spreading than median leaves; median leaves lanceolate to ovate, up to 2.5 mm long, apex pointed, base cordate and unequal, margins finely toothed. Strobili situated on short side branches, 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.

Distribution worldwide

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



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 28 - 29. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 96 - 97. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 146 - 147. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 24.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Pages 26 - 27.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 26 - 27.