Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring

Locations ofSelaginella rupestris (L.) Spring in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Selaginella rupestris (L.) Spring
Common Name
Rock Spikemoss
Bryodesma rupestre (L.) J. Sojak
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Bryodesma rupestre (L.) J. Sojak
The splitting of Selaginella sensu lato into several genera, including Bryodesma and Lycopodioides (followed by Flora of Virginia), remains controversial and lacks consensus among specialists (Petra Korall, pers. comm. to Jordan Metzgar). Several recent phylogenetic studies argue for the retention of a broadly circumscribed Selaginella; see

Westrand, S., and P. Korall. 2016. Phylogeny of Selaginellaceae: There is value in morphology after all!. Amer. J. Bot. 2136-2159.
Westrand, S., and P. Korall. 2016. A subgeneric classification of Selaginella (Selaginellaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 2160-2169.

These authors cite at least seven antecedent papers involving molecular phylogenetic methods, some integrated with morphological data, that retain Selaginella as a single genus.
Dry rocky woodlands and outcrops of various sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks; especially characteristic of granite flatrocks, shale barrens, calcareous sandstone pavements, and barrens of mafic metamorphic rocks such as amphibolite, metabasalt, and actinolite schist. Frequent in the mountains (but absent in far sw. Virginia); infrequent in the Piedmont; very rare in the extreme inner Coastal Plain.
Native Status

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