Ground Cedar

ground cedar
Sometimes called ground pine, sometimes ground cedar, this is a hardy native plant. (At least I THINK it’s a native vs. a plant that was brought here.) This little lycopodium plant is actually protected in New York State, even though it’s common in my woods. So I can pick it on my own property for my personal use, but I can’t sell it, nor can I pick it on State land or other public lands. Folks around here often make wreaths out of it, because it stays green for a fairly long time, even after being picked.

We’d had lots of snow, but then it warmed up for a few days, and rained. A lot. Between the warmth and the rain, we lost most of the snow we had, so little plants that had been completely buried were now able to reach the sun again.

I certainly wasn’t surprised to see so much ground cedar in my short woods walk, but I was struck by the fact that this particular plant was taking full advantage of the weather opportunity. It’s made a reproduction stalk, full of spores that will disperse to make new plants. The fact that a stiff breeze was making me cold despite bright sunshine didn’t daunt this little guy. Its tenacity made me smile.

Your turn: what’s up with plant life near you early in the new year?
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