Perennial, or rarely annual mossy-looking terrestrial or occasionally epiphytic plants. Rhizome creeping, either underground or on the surface. Stems erect or scrambling. Sterile leaves undivided, scale-like, ovate with a single nerve and an appendage on the upper leaf surfaces (ligule), arranged in 4 rows, occasionally 2 of the rows on the back reduced and pressed to the stem giving a 2-ranked appearance; margin usually saw-toothed. Fertile leaves smaller and arranged into cone-like structures. Sporangia and spores of 2 kinds.
1 genus, c. 700 species from wet tropical and subtropical regions, a few temperate (Australia has 12 species).
Cuttings, layers or occasionally by spores.
Ligule on upper surface of leaf; spores of 2 different sizes.
Source: (1995). Selaginellaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.