Lycopodium clavatum, photographed by John Knouse.

Belongs within: Lycopodiopsida.

Lycopodium is a genus of club mosses. Different authors have applied different circumscriptions to this genus, which may have a number of distinct genera separated out from it. Even when treated narrowly, the genus includes species with a wide variety of growth forms, from low matted forms to high climbers, with the greatest diversity found in northern and southern temperate regions and on tropical mountains (Øllgaard 1990).

Characters (from Øllgaard 1990): Sporophytes terrestrial, anisotomously branched, with elongate, indeterminate, subterranean, creeping or climbing main stems, and determinate lateral, ascending to erect or spreading branchlet systems arising at inclined angles. Stele of main stems and major branchlets with xylem in parallel bands; in minor branchlets, peduncles and strobili usually with radially arranged xylem. Roots emerging directly along underside of main stems, with parallel-banded stele in main roots. Leaves uniform throughout, or branchlets anisophyllous. Strobili erect or pendent, simple or forked, either sessile and terminating the stronger branchlets or borne on simple or forked peduncles. Sporophylls ephemeral, subpeltate with a thin basal decurrent wing, with or without a basal mucilage cavity, or peltate or paleate. Sporangia on sporophyll base (rarely axillary), reniform, with short, thick stalk, isovalvate to slightly anisovalvate, epidermal cells with thin, lignified, sinuate anticlinal walls without partial thickenings. Spores reticulate, baculate or scabrate. Gametophytes carrot-shaped or obconic to convoluted disc-shaped, subterranean, holomycotrophic, without pluricellular uniseriate hairs among gametangia.

    |--L. appressum FHH01
    |--L. australianum C27
    |--L. billardieri A27
    |--L. cernuum Linnaeus 1753 I88
    |--L. clavatum Linnaeus 1753 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |    |--L. c. ssp. clavatum M03
    |    `--L. c. ssp. fastigiatum M03
    |--L. complanatum P88
    |--L. confertum M03
    |--L. crassum R96
    |--L. densum A27
    |--L. drummondii A27
    |--L. flagellaria C45
    |--L. hamiltonii Spr. 1828 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |--L. herterianum Kümm. 1928 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |--L. hippurideum J87
    |--L. laterale A27
    |--L. magellanicum SS92 [=L. clavatum ssp. magellanicum M03]
    |--L. phlegmaria Linnaeus 1753 I88
    |--L. pithodes J87
    |--L. pulcherrimum Wallich ex Hooker & Greville 1827 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |--L. ramulosum EB01
    |--L. reflexum J87
    |--L. saururus M03
    |--L. scariosum A27
    |--L. selago Linnaeus 1753 [=Urostachys selago (Linnaeus) Hert. 1923] I88
    |--L. serratum Thunberg 1784 [=Urostachys serratus (Thunberg) Hert. 1923] I88
    |--L. skutchii J87
    |--L. squarrosum Forster 1786 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |--L. subulifolium Wallich ex Hooker & Greville 1827 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |--L. taxifolium J87
    |--L. varium [=L. billardieri var. varium] SS92
    |--L. veitchii Christ 1906 I88
    |--L. verticillatum J87
    `--L. volubile A27

Lycopodium clavatum Linnaeus 1753 [incl. L. divaricatum Wallich ex Greville & Hooker in Hooker 1831, L. japonicum Thunberg 1784, L. clavatum var. wallichianum Spring 1842] I88

Lycopodium hamiltonii Spr. 1828 [=L. obtusifolium Hamilton ex Don 1825 non Swartz 1806, Urostachys hamiltonii (Spr.) Hert. ex Nessel 1939] I88

Lycopodium herterianum Kümm. 1928 [=L. sikkimense Hert. 1909 non Müller 1861, Urostachys herterianus (Kümm.) Hert. 1949, U. sikkimensis (Hert.) Hert. ex Nessel 1939] I88

Lycopodium pulcherrimum Wallich ex Hooker & Greville 1827 [=Lycopodium setaceum var. pulcherrimum (Wallich) Clarke 1880, Urostachys pulcherrimus (Wallich) Hert. 1949; incl. L. setaceum Hamilton ex Don 1825 non de Lamarck 1789] I88

Lycopodium squarrosum Forster 1786 [=Urostachys squarrosus (Forster) Hert. 1923; incl. L. hookeri Wallich ex Hooker & Greville 1829] I88

Lycopodium subulifolium Wallich ex Hooker & Greville 1827 [=L. setaceum var. subulifolium Wallich apud Clarke 1880, Urostachys subulifolius (Wallich) Hart. 1949] I88

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A27] Andersen, J. C. 1927. Popular names of New Zealand plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 905-977.

[C27] Carse, H. 1927. Botanical notes, with descriptions of new species. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 89-93.

[C45] Colenso, W. 1845. Memoranda of an excursion, made in the Northern Island of New Zealand, in the summer of 1841-2; intended as a contribution towards the natural productions of the New Zealand groupe: with particular reference to their botany (concluded). Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science 2: 241-308.

[EB01] Engel, J. J., & J. E. Braggins. 2001. Austral Hepaticae 34. The sporophyte of Neogrollea Hodgs. and the taxonomic position of Neogrolleaceae (Schust.) Engel & Braggins comb. & stat. nov. Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory 91: 173-204.

[FHH01] Frey, W., M. Hofmann & H. H. Hilger. 2001. The gametophyte-sporophyte junction: Unequivocal hints for two evolutionary lines of archegoniate land plants. Flora 196: 431-445.

[I88] Iwatsuki, K. 1988. An enumeration of the pteridophytes of Nepal. In The Himalayan Plants vol. 1 (H. Ohba & S. B. Malla, eds) The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 231-339.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum – Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[M03] Macloskie, G. 1903. Pteridophyta, ferns and fernlike plants. In Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896-1899, vol. 8 – Botany (W. B. Scott, ed.) pp. 127-138. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

Øllgaard, B. 1990. Lycopodiaceae. In: Kramer, K. U., & P. S. Green (eds) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants vol. 1. Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms pp. 31-39. Springer.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

[R96] Righi, G. 1996. Colombian earthworms. Studies on Tropical Andean Ecosystems 4: 485-607.

[SS92] Selkirk, P. M. & R. D. Seppelt. 1992. Lycopodium australianum (Herter) Allan on subantarctic Macquarie Island. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 113: 185-191.

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