E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Selaginella scopulorum Maxon
cliff selaginella
Selaginellaceae (Spike-moss family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88011)

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Distribution of Selaginella scopulorum
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Species Information

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Evergreen perennial forming dense flat circular mats 5-20 cm across, 1-3 cm tall.
Lanceolate, 1.5-2 mm long, 0.4-0.7 mm wide, those on the upper side of stem slightly smaller than those on the lower side, with short-fringed margins and whitish, transparent to opaque, 1-1.5 mm long bristle tips.
Unstalked, 4-angled in cross-section, 5-30 mm long, 1-2 mm wide; sporophylls strongly keeled, lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, margins short fringed at the bases, lacking fringing hairs in the upper part and with short bristles at the tips.
Previously treated as a variety or subspecies of S. densa.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist rocks and shallow soil in open places in the montane to alpine zones; infrequent throughout BC; E to AB, S to TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Selaginella scopulorum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 2080 2156 2240
Slope Gradient (%) 7 35 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
130 187 215
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), IMA(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Selaginella densa var. scopulorum (Maxon) R. Tryon

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References