Southern Ground Cedar Diphasiastrum digitatum (Dillenius ex A. Braun) Holub  Synonyms: Fan Clubmoss, Groundcedar, Lycopodium complanatum var. flabelliforme, Lycopodium digitatum, Lycopodium flabelliforme, Running Cedar.

Status:

Southern Ground Cedar is a common clubmoss that is found throughout Maryland in wooded areas. Southern Ground Cedar spreads by rhizomes and very large patches may be found. During the cooler months is the best time to look for clubmoss species because they are evergreen and during the winter they are often the only green plant growing on the forest floor.

Description:

Southern Ground Cedar is very similar to the uncommon Blue Ground Cedar (Diphasiastrum tristachyum). To differentiate between the species you need to look at a variety of features. First check out the horizontal stems. Southern Ground Cedar has horizontal stems that are right on the surface of the ground or just under the surface. Blue Ground Cedar has horizontal stems that can be found up to 12cm under the ground. Next look at the coloration of the vertical parts of the plant. Southern Ground Cedar is typically dark green and not glaucous while Blue Ground Cedar, like its name, is blue-green and glaucous. Next check out the branchlets. Southern Ground Cedar lacks annual constrictions on the branchlets while Blue Ground Cedar typically has obvious annual constrictions on the branchlets.

Where to find:

Look for Southern Ground Cedar in your favorite wooded area.

There are 214 records in the project database.

View species at Maryland Plant Atlas

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Southern Ground Cedar growing in Garrett Co., Maryland (10/31/2009). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Montgomery Co., Maryland (10/23/2016). Photo by Bill Hill. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Howard Co., Maryland (5/1/2014). Photo by Nancy Magnusson. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (11/12/2017). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Charles Co., Maryland (7/1/2007). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Cecil Co., Maryland (6/25/2014). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Carroll Co., Maryland (5/23/2018). Photo by Kirsten Johnson. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (7/30/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Prince George's Co., Maryland (3/4/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Worcester Co., Maryland (3/31/2018). Note horizontal stem at surface of the ground. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/13/2014). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/22/2016). Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

Southern Ground Cedar in Kent Co., Maryland (3/10/2019). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Southern Ground Cedar in Charles Co., Maryland (9/25/2016). Photo by Kirsten Johnson. (MBP list)


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