Fan Clubmoss

Fan clubmoss goes by several names, most of which compare its appearance to something else. Common names include crowsfoot and ground cedar, and it has also been referred to as bear's paws. Its botanical name is Diphasiastrum digital, which hails from the Lycopodium family.

Despite its many names, one thing is sure. It is not a moss. They are more similar to ferns and mushrooms, which reproduce via spores rather than seeds.

It does best in hardiness zones 4 to 7. An evergreen groundcover, this perennial plant grows only 3 to 8 inches in height. Colonies are typically found in mixed woodland and upland pine forests. It prefers dappled sunlight, light shade, and slightly acidic, well-drained, moist soils. The plants often provide cover for ground-nesting birds.

Diphasiastrum digitatum – Fan clubmoss | Nantahala Natives

It is recognized by its tiny, pointed, and scale-like, deep-green foliage. Once spores are established, the plants are spread by rhizome stems, which grow not underground but under leaf litter along the forest floor. Extremely slow-growing, the stems shoot up pale yellow, cone-like protuberances called stromboli, where packages of spores are formed. Spores are released to the wind in late summer and into the autumn.

It can take years for spores to establish themselves as plants, and it can be pretty tricky to propagate or transplant. However, transplanting is best successful if plants are deeply dug up to include a large clump of soil surrounding the plant, taking special care not to disturb roots. Gardeners fortunate to have a woodland area with established species would be best served by leaving the plants where they are instead of creating a quiet path into the woods and employing them as part of a secret garden. A mix of colorful wildflowers can make a beautiful enhancement.

Fan clubmoss has been oft-compared in appearance to full-size evergreens such as arborvitaes and cedars. Interestingly, its distant cousins can be traced back 410 million years ago to the Carboniferous period, where the atmosphere was significantly different, and similar plants grew to over 130 feet in height. Today those distant cousins are part of the coal deposits mined throughout the northern hemisphere.

The plants are homeopathic remedies for digestive disorders, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, skin irritations, sore throats, and fatigue. Lycopodium powder from fan clubmoss is used as pill coatings. The plants also contain combustible oils, which have been used for pyrotechnics and science demonstrations. They have also been used to fashion Christmas greenery.

Running Cedar

Running Cedar

Running Cedar is a creeping, evergreen plant with needle-like leaves that resemble fern fronds. It is commonly found in moist woodlands and forests. It features leaves that look pretty similar to the boughs of the tree bearing its name. This evergreen plant can make quite an attractive addition to your home, but why might you want to grow it there? Beyond its striking looks, here are a few key reasons it adds value to any yard. Running Cedar Can Tell You More About Your Environment It is a fern-like plant that's said to be adept at pulling pollutants out of its surroundings, which can help you improve the overall health of other plants in the area and remove some of the airborne contaminants that might impact your well-being. However, it's worth noting that the most significant benefit is what the plant reveals. Because it removes toxins, changes in the plant's health could indicate issues with the soil or the air that even this hardy little plant can't handle by itself. Running Cedar Will Stick With You It takes time to grow, but keep that from fooling you into thinking it will easily be weakened by weather and other threats. This fern ally is pretty hardy, ensuring that it will be able to persist in your space even if it is presented with some climate changes or other changes that other plants in your yard might not be able to withstand. Running Cedar Defends Against Soil Erosion and Flooding Running Cedar creeps along your yard, but it's important to remember that this isn't a traditional moss. This vascular plant has root systems, allowing it to defend against soil erosion more effectively. Its love of moisture also means that it can protect against flooding and absorb more water when it appears. Running Cedar is small, but it spreads out, making it an excellent, lush green ground cover for any space in your yard. Unlike traditional moss, it also has the added benefit of the stately strobili, which reaches into the air to add volume and help the plant reproduce.

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Fan Clubmoss - TN Nursery

Fan Clubmoss

Fan Clubmoss is a low-growing, evergreen plant with densely packed, needle-like leaves that form a distinctive, fan-like appearance and often cover forest floors. It is a unique and versatile plant with various landscaping benefits. Its unusual appearance and adaptability make it a popular choice for enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of outdoor spaces. Unlike its name may suggest, it is not a true moss but a primitive vascular plant belonging to the Lycopodiaceae family. Fan clubmoss called running cedar or ground pine, looks like a low-growth coniferous plant. However, it is a clubmoss, which is related to ferns. This non-flowering perennial plant was once commonly found across the eastern portion of North America. However, deforestation has dramatically reduced its presence in the wild. Because of its many notable attributes, this plant is an ideal choice to consider adding to your yard. Fan Clubmoss Looks Like Mini Pine Trees This fascinating plant typically grows up to 10 inches tall and a foot wide in ideal conditions. Its pine-looking branches are out, creating a stunning design up close. From farther away, the ground appears to be blanketed in green. Often, the plant has a dark green base that fades to a yellowish-green hue toward the tips of its leaves, creating a lovely effect. Some people trim the plants into a topiary design to add an ornamental touch to their yard. Weed Control With Fan Clubmoss This plant is commonly used for ground cover as it proliferates and stays close to the ground. Because the plants can grow densely together, they can block out sunlight from reaching any vegetation attempting to grow underneath it for optimized weed control. This is a highly adaptable plant that can be incorporated in numerous environments. Generally, it will dry out in drought conditions but return with moisture. At one time, when the plant thrived in its native habitat, this plant was harvested in the wild and used for winter holiday decorations. With the plant growing in your yard, you can easily snip off a few sprigs to dress up your space with a natural touch. The evergreen leaves can also be added to your home decor throughout the rest of the year, such as in a floral vase for a boost of greenery. Minimize Erosion With Fan Clubmoss Fan Clubmoss can absorb considerable water, which is beneficial during heavy rainstorms. It can hold ten times its weight in moisture, offering natural protection in areas prone to erosion.

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