A "tiny treasure" with an "ancient past," that predates dinosaurs, was found in New York State.

On Tuesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation highlighted an evergreen plant that can be found in the Empire State

Plant With Ancient Plant Spotted In New York


"Ever been walking in the woods and notice a fun-sized forest underfoot? Then you’ve spotted clubmosses, a native family of evergreen plants with an ancient past," the DEC wrote in its press release.

Clubmosses evolved over 400 million years ago, which is over 100 million years before the dinosaurs, according to the DEC.

"Clubmosses are some of the oldest species still on the earth today," the DEC said.

This ancient plant has changed a lot in the past 400 million years. 300 million years ago it grew to be 100 feet tall. Around 130 years ago the spores of the plant were used as flash powder for old-time photographs, according to the DEC.

Virginia Native Plant Society
Virginia Native Plant Society

"And today, these now-tiny treasures are mostly just known for bringing some color to the winter forest floor," the DEC adds.

DEC Clears Up Rumor About Ancient Plant

Since the DEC decided to highlight clubmosses it wanted to clear up a rumor about the ancient plant.

Clemson Cooperative Extension
Clemson Cooperative Extension

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"Let’s clear one thing up – like slime 'mold' clubmoss is a misnomer," the DEC wrote. "True mosses do not have stems or roots, but our native clubmosses have both. If you’re a fellow plant nerd, note that mosses are non-vascular, while clubmosses are vascular. The English language sure can be weird."

Clubmosses are protected plants in New York State, according to the DEC.

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