Ashy Spike-moss [Selaginella cinerascens A. A. Eat.]

Ashy Spike-moss [Selaginella cinerascens A. A. Eat.]

Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-1

State/Federal. Status -- None SELAGINELLACEAE March

Global Rank G4G5 State Rank S3S4

Distribution: San Diego, Orange counties; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Undisturbed chaparral and Diegan Sage Scrub are often utilized by this prostrate perennial groundcover. It is a good indicator of site degradation as it rarely inhabits disturbed soils. Many soil types are utilized with Redding cobbly loam apparently an optimal soil type near Miramar.

Known Sites: This species is ubiquitous at many sites in coastal San Diego County, primarily south of Highway 78, with the populations heaviest around the periphery of the City of San Diego. It occurs by the many millions. It is a dominant ground cover at Miramar Air Station and innumerable other sites in open chaparral and sage scrub in this region. It is found northward to the Wire Mountain housing area on Camp Pendleton, near Seal Rock north of Escondido; eastward to Starvation Mountain, off Magnolia Road in Santee, by Ehman Road in Poway, and west of Daney Canyon near Ramona. Reported eastward to west of Rincon, the Poway Grade, on the Daley Ranch northeast of Escondido, at Alpine, and on a northeast slope by Lawson Creek in Sloane Canyon. This spike-moss is very common south into Baja California such as at Punta Banda. Reported by Roberts in Orange County at Rancho Mission Viejo west of Cristianitos Canyon and Shady Canyon in the San Joaquin Hills.

Eight specimens from Baja California are found at the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium; south to 32 18' North where collected by Moran (SD 101384) on a slope above the sea 4 km southeast of Punta Cabras. Despite the limited number of collections, the Ashy Spike-moss is abundant at many locales throughout northwestern Baja California, such as near Los Hormos along the highway to Ensenada.

Status: Ashy-footed Spike-moss is substantially declining due to urban expansion along the coast. Nevertheless, it still occurs at several thousand locales, and is not recommended for CNPS listing.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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