Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella buchholzii Hieron.






Selaginella buchholzii Hieron. var. togensis Hieron.

Common name


Plant suberect, with main stem up to 30–40(–100) x c. 0.5 mm, greenish-yellow, branched from the base; rhizophores along most of its length, filiform, c. 1 cm long, straw-yellow, forming a right angle with the stem; branches diverging about 45º from the stem, pinnate or bipinnate, subovate around their circumference. Leaves heteromorphic, dark green on the dorsal side and with metallic reflections on the ventral side, with a clearly visible midrib; side leaves 1-2 times their width apart on main stem, contiguous on branches, c. 2 x 1 mm, rounded at base, acute, slightly unequal, half-faced acroscopic semi-oval to elliptical, margin ciliate below and serrate above, half face basiscopic semi-oblong, margin loosely serrate; middle leaves contiguous on main stem, imbricated on branches, 1.2–1.3 x 0.7–0.8 mm, broadly ovate, rounded at base, loosely denticulate at margins, long acuminate at top; axillary leaves c. 2 x 1 mm, ovate-oblong, rounded at base, margin ciliate below and serrate above, acute at apex. Strobilia solitary or geminate at the end of branches, 4–5 x 3–3.2 mm. Sporophylls dimorphic; dorsal sporophylls green, unequal, c. 2.2 x 1 mm, ovate-oblong, ciliate at margins, apiculate at apex, keeled, with hyaline keel, well developed and long ciliate; ventral sporophylls hyaline, c. 1.8 x 1.1 mm, ovate, cochleariform, long ciliate at margins, narrowly and long acuminate at apex; heterosporus.



buchholzii: first collected by Buchholz in Cameroon.


On wet rocks near waterfalls in the forest, on shale-limestone soil, river embankment on soil and stones, roadside embankment in dense forest, railway embankment, savannah in Imperata; up to 800 m altitude.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Benin, Burkina Fasso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Bizzarri, M.P. (1985) Selaginellaceae.Flore d' Afrique Centrale, Pages 48 - 49.
  • 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 20.