This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The plant figured and described in the September Monthly, page 262, under the name of S. Japonica, is S. involvens. And the kind usually grown and distributed under the name of S. involvens, is S. caulescens, variety Japonica. This transposition of names, is not, as many may suppose, the result of a recent re-naming of the genus; botanically there has been no change in the nomenclature of these two kinds. Apart from the several botanical works and herbariums that testify to this effect, I may mention "the cultivated Selaginellas, " by J. G. Baker, of Kew, in the Gardener's Chronicle of 1807, page 1241. As regards its hardihood as an out-door plant for Northern gardens, I may say, that in May 1877, Mr Harris, gardener to H. H. Hunnewell, Esq., at Wellesley, Mass., showed me some specimens of it that were growing in a shady place in the rockery there, and where they had survived the previous Winter. But they did not look well, and Mr. H. candidly admitted that it would be far better to Winter them in-doors or in frames. I never could see the utility in striving with unreliably hardy plants, to keep them alive out of doors.
The amount of trouble in covering and uncovering might be reasonably submitted to, but when the plant arises in Spring a miserable ghost instead of a healthy specimen, and which will take all the succeeding Summer to attain to even its last year's strength, the time and trouble expended in caring for it are lost, and we find mortification in place of pleasure. If plants be unreliably hardy, and of convenient size, I recommend that they be lifted in the Fall, wintered in cold pits or frames, and again transplanted out of doors in Spring; in which case we have but little trouble or anxiety, and absolute certainty. Of course, in the case of Roses, and other plants requiring Winter mulching or covering, and which will submit to the same with impunity and arise in Spring with more than their last year's vigor, I would advise to treat them as we used to.