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  Lycopodium in arrangements question
From: Steve Marak samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2006.04.05 at 02:07:42(14053)
Undaunted by the silence on my "Philodendron barryii" question, I have another.
It's not an aroid question, but I'll bet several people on this list know the

I saw some cut flower arrangements this past weekend which contained stems of a
filler I initially thought was a remarkably large and stiff selaginella. My
wife - who had the sense to broaden her search beyond selaginellas when those
queries turned up nothing - found some hits on lycopodium, and from those it
appears that lycopodium stems are now a common filler in the cut flower trade.

First question: what species is this? I was told the arrangements were
mail-ordered from "somewhere in Hawaii", and a number of firms there offer
lycopodium stems as a filler. I have an idea, but since I'm sure you guys know
for certain, I'll just ask.

Second question: I gather lycopodiums can be rooted from cuttings, but that
it's not all that easy. Does anyone have any hints? Because I'm going to try,
of course.



From: Regferns at aol.com on 2006.04.05 at 11:48:38(14056)
Steve (and others who might be interested),

Is there a photo of the floral arrangement so that we might be able to see
which Lycopodium species you are referring? I have a large collection
of Lycopodium, and they are quite varied. (I am attaching a page of some
of the plants in my collection: www.tfeps.org/lycopodium_squarrosum.htm)
I suppose some species could be used in a flora arrangement, but I am not aware
of any that are.

Growing them from cuttings can be done, under great care and a watchful
eye. Some species are easier to propagate from cuttings than others.
They tend to linger and rot, unless you pay close attention to them and use a
free draining medium. Charles Alford in Vero Beach, Florida and Chad Husby in
Miami have also grown these plants from cuttings.

If you have a photo, please send it on to me.

Reggie Whitehead

From: Steve Marak samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2006.04.05 at 15:45:27(14057)
Hi Reggie,

Thanks for the information, and the link to your lycopodium page. I had
stumbled across it before, actually, while doing some web research on these
fascinating plants. Lovely. I've also exchanged some e-mail with Chad re
equisetums - it's a small botanical world.

I've found several images on web pages of various companies which sell foliage
for the cut-flower market which appear to be the one in question. I'll include
the URLs below. I can also snap a few digital pictures, if these aren't
sufficient, and find somewhere to put them.

Re cuttings, the one web resource I found on the topic seemed to imply that use
of rooting hormones had essentially no effect on the species they tested - do
you recommend for or against, and if for, any particular concentration or
ingrediant? (Or media, for that matter?)

The URLs:


The last says "a native of New Zealand", but I'm including it because, if it's
not the one sitting in my greenhouse, it certainly looks like it.


From: "Bryant, Susan L." SLBryant at scj.com> on 2006.04.05 at 16:02:49(14058)
How fast do these grow as
a rule?

From: bonaventure at optonline.net on 2006.04.05 at 17:26:48(14060)
Lycopodiums, "club mosses" are common in restricted areas here in forests in central New Jersey, looking like miniature evergreens. Haven't been able to establish any in the garden.
Hope these aren't wild collected.


From: "Alan Galloway" alan_galloway at ncsu.edu> on 2006.04.05 at 19:46:55(14062)

I've seen Lycopodium used in cut flower arrangements in some of the
Asian hotels, usually in combination with red roses.

Here in the SE U.S. there is a Lycopodium species that grows in the coastal
swamps, usually in the same habitat as venus flytraps and pitcher plants. I'm
not positive, but I believe it is Lycopodium alopecuroides, commonly called
Foxtail clubmoss.

I took a quick look in one of my fern books last night and it said Lycopodium
is best propagated by spores.


From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2006.04.06 at 00:39:50(14063)
Ive seen Lycopodiums being rooted in straight perlite at UNC Botanical Gardens. Other than that I have no experience with them.


From: "Harry Witmore" harrywitmore at witmore.net> on 2006.04.07 at 12:14:53(14067)
I have tried many times to root some and while they
stay nice and green for years, I have never had any root. If someone has the key
I would sure like to hear it. Michael those were the ones we saw at UNCC
McMillan Greenhouse right?


From: Steve Marak samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2006.04.09 at 16:05:23(14075)
Thanks to Alan, Harry, Michael, Reggie, and those who replied off list about

I'll try some cuttings expecting failure, so I'll be pleasantly surprised by
any success at all.

Fortunately, these stems are pretty big, much larger than the temperate
lycodpodiums which grow wild somewhere here in Arkansas. (I say somewhere
because I've spent a lot of time tramping around looking at plants in the wild
here, and I've never seen one.)

Each is about 45 cm. long, and they'd already been clipped both bottom and top,
so I had enough material to try several mediums and several strengths of
rooting hormones.

Harry, I've seen the same thing - cuttings which don't rot but don't root
either - from some sansevierias. I took several cuttings from the best looking
of the few I have. Although all 5 cuttings were from the same leaf, 1 rooted
in a few months, 1 took 2 years, 1 took more than 3 years, and the other
2 rotted - but only after about 3.5 years.


From: Norma Jean Cream hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2006.04.09 at 17:57:31(14076)
Harry, I've seen the same thing - cuttings which don't rot but don't root
either - from some sansevierias. I took several cuttings from the
best looking
of the few I have. Although all 5 cuttings were from the same leaf, 1 rooted
in a few months, 1 took 2 years, 1 took more than 3 years, and the other
2 rotted - but only after about 3.5 years.


this is INTERESTING. i had a real hard time re-establishing some wild
collected tropical lycopodiums a very long time ago. However, in
rooting leaf cuts of Sansevierias, i never had what you describe. I
either get dead leaves or the usual, rooted leaf with a succession of
young ones coming off a piece of callus tissue which over time can
get pretty baroque and overgrown. If there is any trick to rooting
them it is bottom heat, after the leaf is well callused. best is a
very hot humid propagating greenhouse, humidity at the max and
about 100 degrees during the day. a person can fake this in a terrarium.

what were the species which behaved this way?


From: Steve Marak samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2006.04.09 at 20:17:34(14077)
Hi Hermine,

It was S. kirkii var. pulchra, either "Coppertone" or a very similar form
(there are a number). While some of the other sansevierias are pretty vigorous,
for me this one is a fairly slow grower. And since among the longer leaves,
there was one about 75 cm. long that stuck out in an awkward direction, it
became 5 cuttings.

(I'm not an expert on sansevierias - like so many things, unfortunately - but
I was careful to mark the original bottom end of each cutting and, once they
were callused, keep that end down.)

These cuttings had quite high humidity because they were bagged, and were kept
on a shelf beneath which were flourescent light fixtures lighting the next
lower shelf 12-16 hours per day. It isn't real bottom heat but does provide
5 C or so while the lights are on. Bright light but no direct sun ....

After the first rooted relatively quickly, I just assumed the others were
compost. But since they weren't rotting - and I even removed a couple from the
medium to check from time to time during the first year - I didn't throw them
out. After the first year, I never checked them except to toss in a bit of
water every couple of months (the bags were folded over but not sealed, so
there was some air exchange and the medium did eventually dry). I was
completely surprised to see a rosette in one of the bags 2 years later.


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