Selaginella intermedia (Blume) Spring

Etymology Genus Resembling Lycopodium selago
Species From Latin: 'intermedius'= intermediate, apparently referring to its growth form.
Family Selaginellaceae
Synonyms Selaginella atroviridis Spring ex Ridl.
Common Names Spikemoss
Status Native: Vulnerable
Form Herb
Native Distribution Myanmar, Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Maluku


A small, low-growing plant, usually up to about 30 cm tall, with many branches and an overall fan-shaped appearance. Two types of leaves are borne along a branch: larger ovate-oblong lateral leaves, and smaller ovate median leaves which are appressed along the branch.

Interesting Facts:

The leaves may be tinged purple, pink or copper-coloured and can be quite attractive. 

A second known variety of this species, var. dolichocentrus, is only known from Peninsular Malaysia and it is distinguished by the very long tips of its median leaves.

Growth form of the plant in the undergrowth

Fan-shaped branching arrangement

Close up of branches showing the two types of leaves of different sizes

Undersides of leaves


Wong KM. (2010) Selaginellaceae. Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Volume I. Series I: Ferns & Lycophytes. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Malaysia. 249 pp.

Author: Louise
Posted: 2021-08-30