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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Selaginellaceae | Selaginella

2. Selaginella eremophila Maxon, Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 72: 3--5. 1920.

Desert spike-moss

Plants on rock or terrestrial, forming dense mats. Stems not readily fragmenting, prostrate, upperside and underside structurally different, irregularly forked; branches determinate, tips upturned. Rhizophores borne on upperside of stems, throughout stem length, 0.2 mm diam. Leaves conspicuously dimorphic, in 8 ranks, tightly appressed, ascending, green; abaxial ridges present; apex with deciduous, twisted, transparent bristle ± 0.3 mm, becoming acute to slightly mucronate in oldest branches. Underside leaves lanceolate to lanceolate-elliptic (on central ranks) or falcate (on marginal ranks), 2--2.7 X 0.5--0.7 mm; base decurrent, glabrous; margins ciliate, cilia transparent to opaque, spreading, 0.04--0.1 mm. Upperside leaves lanceolate, 1.3--1.4 X 0.3--0.4 mm; base abruptly adnate, pubescent, hairs often running along groove; margins ciliate, cilia transparent to opaque, spreading, ca. 0.1 mm. Strobili solitary, 3--8 mm; sporophylls ovate-deltate, abaxial ridges not prominent, base glabrous, margins ciliate, apex acute to mucronate.

Rocky and sandy slopes, in open rock or crevices or in soil; 130--1000 m; Ariz., Calif.; Mexico in Baja California.

Selaginella eremophila is most closely related to the Mexican S . parishii L. Underwood and S . landii Greenman & Pfeiffer. In S . eremophila and the following two species, S . arizonica and S . peruviana , the leaves are arranged in 8 conspicuous ranks: 3 underside (2 marginal, 1 central), 2 lateral, and 3 upperside (2 marginal, 1 central).


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