Blue Ground Cedar Diphasiastrum tristachyum (Pursh) HolubS3 (Watch list)  Synonyms: Deep-root Clubmoss, Deeproot Clubmoss, Lycopodium tristachyum.

Status:

Blue Ground Cedar is an uncommon clubmoss that is sparsely found throughout Maryland. There are few enough populations that the Maryland Heritage Program has put Blue Ground Cedar on the watch list and given the species the rank of S3. Blue Ground Cedar is found in hardwood forests in Garrett County. On the Coastal Plain it is found in sandy woods. It is apparently absent from the Ridge and Valley province except for populations in the Catoctins (MD Heritage Program, 2018).

Description:

Blue Ground Cedar is very similar to the common Southern Ground Cedar (Diphasiastrum digitatum). Here are the features that you need to look for when identifying Blue Ground Cedar. First check out the horizontal stem. If the stem is found under the ground (5 to 12cm) then it is most likely Blue Ground Cedar. Southern Ground Cedar has horizontal stems that are above the ground or just under the surface. Next look at the coloration of the above ground portion of the plant. Blue Ground Cedar has a bluish-green coloration and is typically glaucous while Southern Ground Cedar is typically dark green and not glaucous. Next look and see if the branchlets of the plant have or lack annual constrictions. Blue Ground Cedar has apparent annual constrictions and Southern Ground Cedar lacks annual constrictions.

There are 29 records in the project database.

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Blue Ground Cedar in Garrett Co., Maryland (9/22/2013). Photo by Matt Tillett. (MBP list)

Blue Ground Cedar in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/12/2014). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Blue Ground Cedar in Cecil Co., Maryland (9/5/2013). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Blue Ground Cedar in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/12/2014). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Blue Ground Cedar in Garrett Co., Maryland (7/12/2014). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)


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