Selaginella kraussiana

African club moss

Family: Selaginellaceae

Origin: Africa

Hand holding African club moss stem up close.
African club moss has irregularly branched stems. The leaves are small and arranged in rows. It grows on the ground or on the trunk of other plants.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Prostrate fern ally. Stems are irregularly branched and root at nodes. Aerial roots are long and fine. Leaves are small and arranged in rows. Cones are rounded.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell African club moss. As African club moss is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant African club moss within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any African club moss on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Damp situations; forest, riparian areas, gardens, nurseries, hothouses.


Produces spores, vegetative spread from stem fragments. Spores and stem fragments dispersed by animals and soil and water movement. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and contamination of footwear and machinery.

Impact on environment

Forms dense mats, excluding native ground cover and preventing native seedling establishment. Alters native invertebrate habitat. May facilitate establishment of other pest plants.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Pull out or cover with black plastic or weedmat for 3 to 6 months.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts.

Disposal options: Landfill.


Currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

For small infestations: Foliar spray with 10ml glyphosate green per 1L of water.

For medium to large infestations:

Basic Growsafe certified: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green and 2g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Close up of African club moss from above.
African club moss inhibits the establishment of native plant seedings.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Close up image of African club moss stems and leaves.
African club moss tolerates a wide range of conditions.
Thick mat of African club moss.
African club moss disperses widely and quickly, forming a carpet-like mat on the forest floor.