What plant is that?

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Creeping Jenny, Southern Ground- cedar, Dead-man’s-fingers

Photo credit: Jaknouse [CC-BY-SA-3.0
via Wikimedia Commons

he 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.

It’s. . .

Botanical Name:
Diphasiastrum digitatum
Common Name:
  Creeping Jenny, Southern Ground- cedar, Dead-man’s-fingers
  Lycopodiaceae (Clubmoss Family)
  Dry open woods

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