Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella caffrorum (Milde) Hieron. var. aethiopica Bizarri






Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring var. incurva f. abyssinica A. Braun
Selaginella quartiana Cufod.

Common name


Plants cushion forming, firmly herbaceous, only creeping stems are present. Stems widely creeping, branched, branches up to 0.8 mm in diameter, ridged, smooth; roots wiry, situated adaxially on the stems just before a branching point. Leaves all alike, dark green, greyish-green when dry, spirally arranged, closely overlapping, narrowly lanceolate-aristate in outline, up to 2 x 0.4 mm, hairless, midrib sunken abaxially, margins fringed, arista up to 0.4 mm long, mostly without teeth. Strobili at the end of ultimate branches, up to 14 mm long, heterophyllous. Sporophyls uniform, arranged in 4 ranks, broadly lanceolate to ovate in outline, lamina held more less at right angle along the sunken midrid, up to 2.5 x 1 mm, hairless, margins with fine fringes; sporangia of 2 kinds.




Exposed rocky areas, shallow soil.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Eritrea, Ethiopia.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Hedberg, I; Friis, Ib & Persson, E (2009) Lycopodiaceae to Pinaceae.Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, vol.1 Pages 12 - 13.
  • 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 21.