Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification from Ephrata PA
May 04, 2010 - I've come across a low plant with bright green leaves and a distinct burgundy on the leaf. I've been told it's called Throw Me Over The Fence, but I believe it must be called something else. I be...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small dome-shaped furry plant, smells like bubblegum
November 21, 2013 - Hi, I always see this plant when I'm on the river trail in Redding CA. and I can't find it anywhere on the internet. The plant is very small, I think it is some type of weeds that grow. It's a ligh...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
August 15, 2008 - My father-in-law received seeds from a friend-- he didn't know what kind of plant it would grow. Now he questions what kind of plant it is-- it has a red stalk and 17 inch leaves, it appears to grow...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 29, 2010 - What is the name of the beautiful pink flowers with tiny Orchid-like blossoms occurring now all alongside the highways in the Bee Cave, TX and hill country area? Is it "slenderleaf false foxglove",...
view the full question and answer

How to solve a search problem on the Native Plant Database!
July 01, 2014 - When I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's Plant Identification Guide, it ALWAYS comes up with no results. It also ALWAYS comes up with Family: Acanthaceae. Could this be why NO question EVERY produces A...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.