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What is the common name of Selaginella?

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Last updated date: 11th Jun 2024
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Hint: Selaginella is a type of lycopod that grows naturally in Mexico and Central American countries like Guatemala and Belize. It can also be found in the state of Hawaii. It is a desert plant. It is a large genus comprising more than hundreds of species distributed all over the world.

Complete step by step answer: Common name of Selaginella is “tarry spike-moss”. Spikemoss can be found in a number of places and also in a variety of climates. Members of this genus are terrestrial plants that can grow in different types of habitats. Most of these grow in damp shady areas of tropical forests. They are herbaceous and can also be perennials or annuals. Starry spikemoss plants are mossy and can be found growing over cliffs and on the side of trails. Individuals of this species can be recognized by swollen joints dispersed along the main stem of the plant along with long rhinophores located on the lower third of the stem. Typically, stems are straw coloured and ascending from bases that lie on the ground. The branches of this plant form an open, egg-shaped pattern. Leaves are generally ovulate but sometimes narrow, oblong and lanceolate in shape. These plants are often confused with closely related species, i.e. Selaginella galeotti. Their appearances are mostly similar, however, the shape of the lateral and axillary leaves are different. Axillary and lateral leaves also differ in that they have cilia at their base or near their point of attachment.

Note: According to the ‘Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary’, Selaginella stellata is part of a decoction called "Palillo" or "Sapo magui" that is used by Brazilians while bathing as a flu treatment.