Selaginella kraussiana 'aurea', or Gold Clubmoss, is a beautiful variation of clubmoss. The golden yellow leaves and stems will reach about 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Its spreading habit makes it a good groundcover in containers or in the landscape. Clumps will reach up to 2 feet (60 cm) across. There is some dispute as to which hardiness zones it will live in, but I know it is hardy in zones 7-9. In the landscape, it makes an excellent groundcover under ferns and most evergreens.
Blooming: Selaginella species are spore-producing plants that are frequently referred to as "fern allies." This group however separated early from the ferns and is much closer to lycopods and quillworts. These do not produce flowers but form inconspicuous 0.4 inch (1 cm) long 4-angled strobili (=cones) as lateral axes.
Culture: Selaginella kraussiana 'aurea' are very easy to grow very sensitive to drying. They need a rich, well-drained soil mix with partial to full shade. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part small pine bark. Plants are kept moist at all times. They respond very well to fertilizer applications on a weekly basis with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the amount recommended on the label. The plants make an attractive groundcover in containers of tropical plants or under ferns. During the winter months, water is somewhat restricted, but plants are never allowed to dry thoroughly.
Propagation: Selaginella kraussiana 'aurea' is propagated by cuttings and division of clumps.
Selaginella kraussiana 'aurea' was featured as Plant of the Week May 19-25, 2006.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.