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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycophyta
Class: Selaginellopsida[?]
Order: Selaginellales
Family: Selaginellaceae
Genus: Selaginella
  Selaginella apoda
  Selaginella eclipes
  Selaginella rupestris

Spikemoss refers to any plant of the genus Selaginella, in the family Selaginellaceae, in the order Selaginellales, in the class Selaginellopsida, in the division Lycophyta. Many workers still place the Selaginellales in the class Lycopsida. This group of plants are considered to be part of the fern allies.

The spikemosses are creeping or ascendant plants with simple, scale-like leaves on branching stems from which roots also arise. The plants are heterosporous.

Significant spikemosses of eastern North America include:

  • Selaginella apoda -- meadow spikemoss
  • Selaginella eclipes -- hidden spikemoss
  • Selaginella rupestris -- rock spikemoss

Many species of Selaginella are desert plants known as "resurrection plants", because they curl up in a tight, brown or reddish ball during dry times, and uncurl and turn green in the presence of moisture. Other species are tropical forest plants that appear at first glance to be ferns.

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