Friday, November 21, 2008
Lycopodium Obscurum, or Not a Pine
These are not pine saplings. They are an ancient type of organism called clubmoss. Before trees ruled the land, clubmosses were the towering giants. Imagine one of these with a trunk four feet in diameter, standing as tall as an office building.
Common names for this humble survivor are “ground fir”, “tree clubmoss”, and “princess pine”. Its spores are the original photographer’s flash powder. Now, it is hard to find because it has been a popular winter decoration.
Princess pine is supposedly hard to transplant, but these seem to be doing well more than a month since Marna dug them for me. She scooped out a good chunk of their native soil when she dug them, and I planted them in the bed of perpetually-moist bog muck along my wooded path. So far that seem to like their new home.
[Update] As of May 2010, these guys are looking pitiful. I expect them to die eventually. Dang it. That will teach me to try the "big shovel full of dirt" method. Some plants (and plant-like organisms) need to be left where they grew.