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Selaginella willdenowii
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Selaginella willdenowii (Desv. ex Poir.) Baker, 1867

Species:S. willdenowii
Common Names:Spikemoss, Vine Spikemoss, Peacock Fern


This is a scrambling terrestrial plant with a highly branched stem that is slender and 2-3 mm in diameter. The stem bears rhizophores throughout its length. Leaves are simple, dimorphic and arranged in two median and two lateral rows. Lateral leaves iridescent, blue-green, ovate to oblong, 3-4 x 1.5-2 mm while median leaves are very much smaller and of different shapes. The strobili are borne on the ends pf branches, solitary, 0.5-2 cm long and with monomorphic sporophylls that are cordate to ovate-deltate and with green margins.

Read more about the Selaginellales order.
Read more about the Selaginellaceae family.


Native to Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, it has now been naturalised in many countries after been introduced as a garden ornamental.

Locality Map

Human Uses

It is a popular garden plant because of its iridescent leaves.


de Winter, W. P. & V. B. Amoroso (eds.), 2003. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 15(2). Cryptogams: Ferns and fern allies. Prosea Foundation, Borgor, Indonesia. 268 pp.

Goudey, C. J., 1985. Maidenhair ferns in cultivation. Lothian Publiahing Co. Pty. Ltd. Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland. 336pp.

Holttum, R. E., 1966. A revised flora of Malaya. II Ferns of Malaya. Govt. Printing Office, Singapore (2nd ed.). 653 pp.

Parris, B. S., R. Khew, R. C. K. Chung, L. G. Saw & E. Soepadmo (eds.), 2010. Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Series I: Ferns and Lycophytes. Vol. 1. Malayan Forest records No. 48. Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Kepong. 249 pp.

Wee, Y. C., 2005. Ferns of the tropics. Times Editions-Marshall Cavendish, Singapore. 2nd ed. 190 pp.

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