What plant is that?

Click on photo below
to view larger image.

What plant is that?
Photo credit:By Jaknouse [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons

The mystery plant for December
is a low growing perennial evergreen which is protected by a RI state law called the “Christmas Greens Law”.

This plant has two types of stems;
those which creep along the surface of the ground and the fruiting stems which are upright and grow to 10-15 inches tall. 
The main stem of the plant
is branched and
these branches are also branched
giving the appearance of a
miniature tree
with fan-shaped branches. 
These branches
(which are flattened)
have four vertical rows of
small scale-like leaves. 
The row of leaves underneath are shortest at about 0.3-1.0 mm (1/64”) long.
The lateral row of leaves are the longest.  This plant is a spore bearer
and the spores are borne on
2-4 cones (strobili) on a peduncle
at the tip of the plant. 
The cones are formed in
mid to late summer. 
This plant grows in open shaded woods.

Stop back next month to find out
what this mystery plant is.

Click here
for last month's mystery plant.

Mystery Plants from
past months, click, here

E-mail your guess to us and,
if you're right, we'll list
your name below.

Congratulations to the following
for correctly identifying
last month's mystery plant.

Brian Maynard
Anne Wagner