Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Moss Fern
Selaginella pallescens

Family: Selaginellaceae
Genus: Selaginella (sell-lah-gi-NEL-uh) (Info)
Species: pallescens (pa-LESS-ens) (Info)

Synonym:Lycopodium cuspidatum
Synonym:Lycopodium pallescens
Synonym:Selaginella cuspidata
Synonym:Selaginella cuspidata var. elongata
Synonym:Selaginella emmeliana

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4 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From spores

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By patp
Thumbnail #1 of Selaginella pallescens by patp

By patp
Thumbnail #2 of Selaginella pallescens by patp

By Cretaceous
Thumbnail #3 of Selaginella pallescens by Cretaceous


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Cretaceous On Mar 25, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.

Positive patp On Nov 27, 2005, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lovely Moss Fern was purchased from Home Depot during August 2002. I tried growing it indoors but it obviously didn't like the dry heat so it was moved outside and planted in the ground. Neither fern nor moss, it reminds me of a prehistoric plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Long Beach, California
Bunnell, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Summerville, South Carolina

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