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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - September 27, 2011

From: Trussville, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of conifer-like low plant in Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When walking in woods of Alabama we found a plant that grows along the ground. looks like a conifer about 2 or 3 inches tall, has a trailing vine under the leaves and pops up little sprigs of greenery every 2 inches or so. What the heck is it? Thank you. Trussville, Alabama

ANSWER:

This sounds like Lycopodium digitatum (Fan clubmoss).  It isn't a flowering plant; instead, it is a relative of the ferns and reproduces by spores.  Here are more photos and information.

If this isn't your plant and you have photos, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Fan clubmoss
Lycopodium digitatum

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