peacock fern (Sellaginella uvea)

sita(z7TX)May 23, 2005


Anybody has experience with this fern? Can it be used as groundcover in East Texas, zone7b? Thank you for any info.

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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

I believe this is a moss rather than a fern.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 9:26AM
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Believe it is Selaginella uncinata(Peacock Moss, Blue Moss) and is sometimes listed by growers as Peacock Fern. It is hardy to Z6. Check link for details and photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Selaginella uncinata

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 10:28AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Also known as Peacock Spikemoss

Selaginella uncinata is native to China and has a light, feathery appearance. This is often thought of as a fern when really it is not, this is a trailing perennial. The leaves are fine textured with a blue-green metallic color. Peacock Spikemoss grow to a height of 1-2" and will root at the nodes, making a nice groundcover or hanging basket

nice plant!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 12:43PM
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creatrix(z7 VA)

It wants a moist, high organic soil. Mine's not doing well under a tree.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 6:47PM
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Thanks for the replies. Also, sorry for the typo error, uncinata is the correct name.

I found this fern at Lowe's about a month ago. As usual they were sold in hanging baskets. I hang the pots on tree branches and then noticed that there were thin threads growing out of the nodes. It dawned on me that maybe this fern wants to grow on the ground, not in a hanging baskets where the "rootlets" (?) didn't have anything to grow on.

So, I filled up a kiddie pool with "landscaper's mix"(bought at Walmart), mixed in some cow manure and a bit of super-phosphate and planted the fern in it. The whole thing is now sitting in the shade, and seems to be doing well. The new growth seems to be rather stringy and yellowish-brown in color, but later develops the blue-green color. I am rather happy with the development so far. Hopefully it will continue to do well. Will post pictures later.

Thank you again for the info. You've all been great.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 1:34PM
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Just to clarify, since there seems to be some confusion... Selaginellas are neither ferns nor moss. There are currently seven phyla of plants that are normally recognized:

Anthocerophyta (hornworts)
Marchantiophyta (liverworts)
Bryophyta (mosses)
Lycopodiophyta (spikemosses, clubmosses)
Pteridophyta (ferns)
Coniferophyta (conifers)
Anthophyta (flowering plants)

Sometimes people split things up a bit more (e.g., Equisetum used to get its own phylum), but the gist is that Selaginellas and Lycopodiums make up their own phylum, Lycopodiophyta, and are not in the phyla of mosses or ferns despite the confusing tendency of common names to indicate otherwise.

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 4:46PM
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I had this plant when I lived in Panama (the country). I loved its irridescence but thought it was tropical and I would never see it again. Then lo and behold, it began to be seen in nurseries. I started with one clump and it has spread to a 6 x 9 sloped area. If it is in sun, it will have the yellow tinge; if it is in dappled shade, it will be blue-green and gorgeous. Mine is not irrigated and I don't water it regularly. My experience is that it doesn't have to be keep moist. It definitely is deer resistant. I live in Georgia, just south of Atlanta. I don't think uvea is correct.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:45PM
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