Explore Plants

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - November 15, 2011

From: Manchester, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants
Title: Looking for crowsfoot and standing spruce for Christmas wreaths in Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, When I was a young child, my family would go out in the fall to pick two different plants for making Christmas wreaths. I recently found them on the farm across the street and want to make wreaths this year out of them, However I'd like to make sure that they are not endangered. I have only known them as Crows feet and Standing Spruce. I found the Crows feet on your website and see that it is unrestricted, however I would like to know about the Standing Spruce. It resembles a mini spruce tree and only stands about 8 inches tall. If you could help me, I would Greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much. I would love to make these beautiful wreaths again for family and friends doors. Thank You.

ANSWER:

Lycopodium digitatum (Fan clubmoss) is also called crowfoot clubmoss and I believe that would be the plant you mean.  The USDA Plants Database lists it under the "Threatened and Endangered" category in New York. 

I haven't found any plant with the common name "Standing Cypress", but have some suggestions for what the plant you describe might be.  There iare a couple of other clubmosses that look like tiny spruce trees. Lycopodium obscurum, has several common names—common ground-pine, tree club moss, and rare clubmoss.  Unfortunately, the name rare clubmoss is appropriate since it is listed under the category "Threatened and Endangered" for New York and Indiana by the USDA.  Another possibility is Lycopodium dendroideum (tree groundpine), but it, too, is listed by the USDA Plants Database as "Threatened and Endangered" by Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New York, Tennessee and Washington.

If you check the Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants of Maryland list from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, you will see that none of the above are on the list.   There is, however, one species of clubmoss, Lycopodium tristachyum (deeproot clubmoss or ground-cedar), on the list. 

Now, since the above plants are considered rare or threatened at least in some places, it is difficult to say whether you should collect them in the neighboring farm.  They might be abundant there, but scarce elsewhere.   You might consider contacting the Maryland Native Plant Society to see what there opinion is on the abundance of the species listed above.

 

From the Image Gallery

More Rare or Endangered Plants Questions

Possibility of obtaining seed of Styrax platanifolius
March 04, 2008 - Where can I obtain seeds for the Styrax platanifolius written about in your Spring 2008 issue of Wildflower? I have raised from seed quite a few native trees and would like to try raising Styrax.
view the full question and answer

Growing Conditions for Yucca cernua
October 22, 2011 - Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua: I bought many lovely plants at the Wildflower Center sale on Friday, among them, a Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua. 24 of the 25 plants I bought are already in the grou...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trilliums
April 28, 2010 - What's the best time to transplant white trillium on my property on the shore of Lake Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Endangered Plants
March 20, 2004 - What is an endangered plant?
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.