Selaginella - Selaginellaceae

Selaginella phillipsiana (Hieron.) Alston






Selaginella wightii Hieron. var. philipsiana Hieron.

Common name


Plant prostrate, mat-forming, bright olive-green but paler on drying, branches ascending; older primary branches 2–3 times pinnate, the leafy stems radially symmetrical or nearly so. Leaves monomorphic, herbaceous to herbaceous-papery, linear-lanceolate in outline, apex tapering to a point, base abruptly adnate, arista white, 1/5 to almost 1/2 as long as the blade, margin ciliate, leaves ± 2.2 x 0.3–0.4 mm. Strobili (5–)10–21 mm long, radially symmetrical; sporophylls pale glaucous green, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, ± 3 x 0.8 mm, acuminate-aristate, with 20–25 marginal setae.



phillipsiana: type specimen collected by Lort Phillips in Somalia.


On rocks, in crevices and soil pockets in bushland and thicket.

Distribution worldwide

See african distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Hedberg, I; Friis, Ib & Persson, E (2009) Lycopodiaceae to Pinaceae.Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, vol.1 Pages 15 - 16.
  • 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 26.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2005) Selaginellaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 6. (Includes a picture).