Blue clubmoss

Many on the ridge have wondered at the sight of this plant, which has several shoots rising vertically from its main stem. Three or four of these duster-like shoots are found on one stem. Generally only experts know how to identify the blue clubmoss as it is very similar to the more common northern ground cedar and Zeiller’s clubmoss.


Blue ground-cedar / blue clubmoss

Harjaveltalieko is a rarity in the ridge area and it is only found in four areas in Finland. The species is classified as highly endangered species in Finland as most are at risk of destruction due to forestry and grazing. In the ridge area it is found in three areas between Porsaanharju and Kankaanjärvi. Where it does live it has spread an area that is over 30 x 60 m in size, where hundreds of individual plants live.

The blue clubmoss requires plenty of light and its presence is strictly limited to open, dry and rocky pine forest, where it is almost invariably located on sunny slopes. Similar plants grow in freshly harvested forests, so the blue clubmoss has clearly more demanding requirements. The species also spreads via ground stems cloning itself. In their old age, they die off centrally, creating circles or half-circles. Previously, it benefited from fires because its stem was usually protected inside the sand and its spores could successfully reproduce best after a wildfire. Another threat to the species is due to hybridisation with the northern ground cedar and in many of the places it formerly flourished today there is only northern ground cedar and Zeiller’s clubmoss.