Selaginella umbrosa
"Tobago" Spikemoss

aka "Tobago Spikemoss"

Selaginella umbrosa is commonly found in shaded forest and rocks in very wet areas. I have personally collected it on the Island of Tobago where it was common growing on rocks that were constantly wet from an adjacent stream.  I suspect it was all around the area but I was only able to approach the rocks to make a collection.

It is said to be native to South American and introduced to Trinidad and Tobago.  Tobago is where I first collected it in 1985.  It apparently can now be found growing wild in Hawaii. 

I think this is one of the most attractive of all erect Selaginellas you could grow.  I like the overall triangular shape of the foliage.  It has bright red rhizomes (photo below) which travel horizontally for a while they go upright as the foliage expands.  It can get quite tall and mature plants easily produce leafy stems over 10 inches tall.  Older plants can produce foliage that can get 10 inches wide at the widest part of the triangle.  The above photos show young foliage on the left and a very old one on the right. Notice the color change in the older foliage. Attractive but it is a sign of the slow decline of that old foliage. 


Easy to grow by stem divisions and likely by rooted leaf cutting as well, though I tend to only use rhizome divisions. 

I have frequently seen this name “umbrosa” misapplied to other species of Selaginella.  


  $30.00 - 4 inch pot
email me if interested.

Note the red rhizomes of S. umbrosa