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Running Cedar

We have massive amounts of what I have been told is 'Running Cedar' on our newly obtained property. We would love to use the occasional piece in our interior decoration, but we've been told by some that it is endangered. I can't find it listed under the above name on any list, but I'd like to be sure before using it. It grows under the canopy of our deciduous forest and in very rocky soil. It has a slender but stout stem with slender-but again stout- protrusions about 1 to 1 1/2" long spaced evenly all along the stem. They don't appear very tall, because the stems just lean over onto the ground. As far as I can tell, they don't have any blooms, and if the ground around them is disturbed, they turn brown quickly. The lack of rain doesn't seem to affect them much, and they grow in very large patches. Our land is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, and I've never seen it anywhere else. Any ideas on whether I can use this plant? Or what the true name is?

Backyard Expert - Cathy Nordstrum

Fan Clubmoss, Diphasiastrum digitatum is threatened, but not endangered, in New York State. While I did not find reference to this plant endangered in any other state, I do know that Fan Clubmoss long has been vulnerable to "gardening poachers." Certainly you don't want to be among their company! Such a charming plant, it's easy to see why folks would want to have it in their gardens but it is very site specific and extremely difficult to transplant successfully. I encourage you not even to try and settle instead for one of the commercially available creeping Junipers. Learn about the habitat of your new home so you can practice good stewardship and preserve the beauty around you. Thanks for sending in your question and the best of luck to you.

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