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Selaginella willdenowii (Desv. ex Poir.) Baker

Family Name: Selaginellaceae
Common Name: Willdenow's Spikemoss, Peacock Fern, Blue Spike Moss, Blue Club Moss, Vine Spike Moss, Paku Selemah, 藤卷柏

Selaginella willdenowii or Willdenow’s Spikemoss was named after a German naturalist – Carl Ludwig von Willdenow. Native to Singapore, this fern ally is easily identified by its iridescent, metallic bluish green fronds, which reveal hues of green and pink when viewed at different angles. Found naturally on the forest floors, its preference for low light and moist conditions makes Willdenow’s Spikemoss a suitable house plant and good groundcover in shady conditions.

Full Shade Semi Shade Lots of Water Occasional Misting Native to Singapore Indoor Plant Ornamental Leaves Ferns and Lycophytes Creeper


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
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Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Clubmoss & Spikemoss)
Plant Growth Form Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby


Native Distribution Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Malesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous, fern-like species with a scrambling growth habit.
Foliage Iridescent fronds are mostly blue-green with pinkish hues depending on the angle at which they are viewed. They are composed of two leaf types, lateral and median leaves, which are both arranged in 2 rows along the stem. Lateral leaves are ovate to oblong (3-4 mm long and 1.5-2 mm wide), while median leaves are even smaller and vary in shape. 
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Cone-like strobili composed of sporophylls (spore-producing structures) are produced at the branch tips. The sporophylls are heart-shaped or egg-shaped to triangular.
Habitat Occurs on the forest floor and often twines around other plant species.
Etymology Genus Selaginella is derived from the Latin word selago, which means clubmoss. Species willdenowii is most likely named in honor of Carl Ludwig von Willdenow (1765 - 1812), who was a German naturalist and physician, Director of Berlin Botanical Garden and author of Flora Berolinensis prodromus (1787).

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Flowerbed / Border, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Abiotic (Water)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water, Occasional Misting
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Blue, Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Scaly

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Image Repository



Master ID 282
Species ID 1578
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 24 May 2022.