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|1 Vegetative branchlets strongly ascending; strobili usually 1 or 2, borne sessile to, or with a very short peduncle above, a leafy stem; [ne. PA northwards]|
|1 Vegetative branchlets spreading to somewhat ascending; strobili usually 3 or 4, borne on a remotely-bracted peduncle; [collectively widespread in our area].|
..2 Foliage dark green, not glaucous; sterile branchlets 2-4 mm wide (including the leaves); sterile branchlets without conspicuous annual constrictions; rhizomes 0-1 cm deep (which can be determined by pulling up a single upright shoot – the depth to rhizome is approximately the length of the white portion of the vertical stem); abaxial rank of leaves on horizontal branchlets shorter than the lateral ranks (thus the branchlets flattened in cross-section)
|..2 Foliage blue-green, glaucous; horizontal branchlets 1-2 mm wide (including the leaves); branchlets with conspicuous annual constrictions; rhizomes (1-) 5-12 cm deep; abaxial rank of leaves on horizontal branchlets as long as the lateral ranks (thus the branchlets more-or-less square in cross-section)|