Day: December 25, 2006

My Favorite Little Christmas Tree. . .

isn’t a tree at all, but a Club Moss called Northern Tree Club Moss, Lycopodium dendroideum. I *love* this little plant. Thanks to Mon@rch for reminding me of this little plant. It grows 12-16″ tall, resides in moist, shaded woods, northern hardwood woods, edges of wetlands, and bogs. It has 6-8 leaves in a whorl.

Here’s a photo showing its’ roots – I got these two photos from the Internet:

lycopodium_dendroideum 2

In New York State, Northern Tree Clubmoss is labelled as exploitably vulnerable – meaning it is threatened and endangered. This is *very* important to me. So important that when I was taking a class in Silverculture and the old man professor said they sprayed a general herbicide on the forest floor to get rid of all of the plant life so the young trees could grow, and the forest floor I was standing in was literally covered with rare clubmoss and ferns, I wasn’t happy. I asked the professor about the rare plants to which he replied, hmmm, good point, and then I dropped the class when I got back on campus. I know, I know, the point in a silverculture class is the culture of trees and not all of that “unimportant” understory stuff. My first clue to the fact that these forestry students I was taking this class with didn’t care about the understory was when I saw them stomping all over the clubmosses and ferns. I really couldn’t take it. Here is one of the many photos they took on that day. We were in Heiberg Memorial Forest on August 31, 2005, it was raining very hard all day – this was during Huricane Katrina. This was an awesome, man planted forest. I loved being in this forest, but, well, it wasn’t meant to be.

I’m the one in the white hardhat, yellow jacket and blue pants – soaked to the skin even with all of the rain gear.

I hope everyone has a very Happy Day!