Krauss's Spikemoss Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Kraus's clubmoss 'Brownii'


The plant called spike moss has a distinctive appearance, characterized by its small, evergreen leaves that have a lush, feathery texture. The leaves are often arrayed densely along slender, creeping stems, giving the plant a full and fluffy look overall. These stems sprawl out in a mat-forming habit and can root at the nodes, where leaves are attached, enabling the plant to spread effectively across suitable surfaces. The foliage of this particular variety usually presents a color gradient that shifts from green at the newer growth to a brown at the older leaves, giving the plant its common name. This gentle shift from green to brown adds to its visual interest and contrasts well when planted among green-leaved varieties or against lighter backgrounds. Just like other members of spike moss, it appreciates a good amount of moisture and a hospitable environment to maintain its vibrant appearance.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Krauss's Spikemoss, Brownii Clubmoss, Trailing Selaginella, Spreading Clubmoss, Krauss Spikemoss, Brown Selaginella

    • Common names

      Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Spikemoss is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no significant symptoms of poisoning associated with ingestion because it is considered non-poisonous. Therefore, unintentional ingestion is not expected to cause harm, but as with any non-food plant, eating plant material may potentially cause discomfort or an allergic reaction in some individuals.

    • To pets

      Spikemoss is not known to be toxic to pets. It is considered non-toxic to cats and dogs, and ingestion typically does not lead to any serious symptoms of poisoning. While it may not be harmful, it's always prudent to discourage pets from eating plants, as they could cause gastrointestinal upset or an allergic reaction in sensitive pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      0.1 feet [3 cm]

    • Spread

      1 feet [30 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic appeal: Adds a unique texture and shade of green to gardens or terrariums.
    • Groundcover: Helps prevent soil erosion by covering the ground and stabilizing the soil with its roots.
    • Low maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, suitable for busy or novice gardeners.
    • Drought tolerance: Can survive in dry conditions after it's well established, making it ideal for xeriscaping.
    • Shade tolerance: Grows well in shaded areas where other plants might struggle.
    • Cool microclimate: Its dense growth can help create a cooler microclimate in its immediate area during hot weather.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Crafts and Decoration: Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii', commonly known as spike moss, is often used in terrariums, fairy gardens, and as a decorative ground cover in potted arrangements due to its fine-textured and spreading foliage.
    • Model Landscaping: Miniature landscapers and model railway enthusiasts use spike moss to create realistic scenery due to its small scale and lush appearance.
    • Erosion Control: Spike moss may be used for erosion control in certain shaded garden areas because of its mat-forming growth habit that holds soil in place.
    • Education: Spike moss can be used for educational purposes in botany and biology classes to illustrate non-flowering plant life cycles and spore reproduction.
    • Photography: The unique texture and vibrant green color of spike moss can be used as a lush backdrop or accent in macro photography.
    • Livestock Bedding: In some cases, dried spike moss can be used as bedding for small pets or reptiles due to its soft, absorbent nature.
    • Living Mulch: Spike moss can act as a living mulch under certain plants, helping to retain soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
    • Biological Studies: Spike moss can be the subject of biological studies focusing on cryptogams (non-seed plants) and their adaptation to different environments.
    • Artistic Inspiration: The intricate patterns of spike moss growth can serve as inspiration for artists in various mediums, from painting to textile design.
    • Green Roofs: For shaded and moist green roof systems, spike moss can contribute to plant diversity and overall aesthetics.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Club Moss is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Club Moss is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii', commonly known as Spikemoss, is capable of withstanding low-light conditions and can recover from dehydration, symbolizing the ability to endure and bounce back from challenges.
    • Adaptability: This plant can adapt to various environments, making it a symbol of versatility and the capacity to thrive in different conditions.
    • Persistence: Spikemoss demonstrates consistent growth over time, symbolizing steady progress and determination.

Every 3-5 days
500 - 2500 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The club moss should be watered deeply, allowing water to flow freely out of the pot's drainage holes, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Aim to maintain consistent moisture, which typically means watering once every week, but this can vary depending on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Adjust the frequency during winter, watering less often as the plant's growth slows down. Generally, use about 1/8 to 1/4 gallon of water per week, monitoring the soil moisture level between waterings.

  • sunLight

    Club moss prefers bright, indirect light and should be placed in a location where it can receive filtered sunlight away from direct sun exposure which can scorch its delicate leaves. It thrives under the dappled light of a shaded area or in a room with lots of natural light but out of direct sunlight rays.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Club moss enjoys a temperature range between 60°F and 75°F, and it can handle brief periods outside this range, with a minimum of 50°F and a maximum around 80°F. However, it is ideal to maintain consistent temperatures within the preferred range for optimal growth and health.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning club moss is mostly for maintaining its size and shaping the plant; it's best done in spring or early summer. Simply trim back any overgrown or unwanted sections using clean, sharp scissors. Pruning can also help to encourage denser growth and can be done every few months or when you notice the plant becoming too leggy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii', commonly known as Brown Spikemoss, thrives in a well-draining, peaty soil mix with sphagnum moss and perlite. The ideal pH for this plant is slightly acidic, ranging from 5.5 to 6.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Brown Spikemoss should be repotted every two years to refresh the soil and accommodate its slow growth; frequent repotting isn't necessary due to its compact size.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Brown Spikemoss requires high humidity levels, ideally between 70% and 90%, to thrive as it is a moisture-loving plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Shelter from direct sun; keep moist in high humidity.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Krauss's clubmoss 'Brownii' begins its life as a spore, released from the parent plant, whereupon it germinates under the right conditions of moisture and warmth. The resulting gametophyte is small and inconspicuous, surviving underground and forming symbiotic relationships with fungi. This gametophyte stage produces both male and female gametes, which, when brought together, usually by water, develop into a new sporophyte — the most recognizable stage of the plant. The sporophyte grows typically in shaded, moist environments into a creeping, mat-forming plant that has small, scale-like leaves and branches regularly. It produces cones or strobili that carry the spores at the end of some branches, completing its reproductive cycle. Over time, this perennial plant can spread vegetatively, forming dense carpets, before sporulating again, thus continuing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Selaginella kraussiana 'Brownii', also known as Krauss's Spikemoss, is commonly propagated through division, which is best done in spring or early summer to allow the plant time to establish itself during the growing season. The most popular method involves gently separating a healthy portion of the plant, ensuring there are enough roots attached to support the new plantlet. Take a sharp, clean knife or scissors and cut a section that includes several stems and a healthy root system. Once separated, plant the sections into pots filled with a well-draining potting mix, lightly moisten the soil, and maintain a humid environment around the plant by covering the pot with a plastic bag or placing it in a terrarium. The cutting should not be exposed to direct sunlight but should receive bright, indirect light. New growth will typically emerge within a few weeks, indicating that the plant has successfully rooted.