Lycopodium clavatum

Lycopodium clavatum
Lycopodium clavatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta
Class: Lycopodiopsida
Order: Lycopodiales
Family: Lycopodiaceae
Genus: Lycopodium
Species: L. clavatum
Binomial name
Lycopodium clavatum

Lycopodium clavatum (wolf's-foot clubmoss, stag's-horn clubmoss or groundpine[1]) is the most widespread species in the genus Lycopodium of the clubmoss family Lycopodiaceae.

It is a spore-bearing vascular plant, growing mainly prostrate along the ground with stems up to 1 m long; the stems are much branched, and densely clothed with small spirally-arranged leaves. The leaves are 3-5 mm long and 0.7-1 mm broad, tapered to a fine hair-like white point. The branches bearing spore cones turn erect, reaching 5-15 cm above ground, and have fewer leaves than the horizontal branches. The spore cones are yellow-green, 2-3 cm long and 5 mm broad. The horizontal stems produce roots at frequent intervals along their length, allowing the stem to grow indefinitely along the ground. The stems superficially resemble small seedlings of coniferous trees, though it is not related to these.

Close-up of sporophylls

It has a subcosmopolitan distribution, with distinct subspecies and varieties in different parts of its range:

  • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. clavatum
    • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. clavatum var. clavatum (Europe, Asia, North America)
    • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. clavatum var. aristatum (Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, northern South America south to northern Argentina)
    • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. clavatum var. asiaticum (Japan, northeast China)
    • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. clavatum var. borbonicum (central and southern Africa)
    • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. clavatum var. kiboanum (mountains of tropical Africa)
  • Lycopodium clavatum subsp. contiguum (southern Central America, northern South America; syn. Lycopodium contiguum)

Although globally widespread, like many clubmosses, it is confined to undisturbed sites, disappearing from farmed areas and sites with regular burning. As a result, it is endangered in many areas. In the UK it is one of 101 species named as a high priority for conservation by the wild plant charity Plantlife.[2]

Other common names

Common clubmoss, Stagshorn clubmoss, Wolfpaw clubmoss, Foxtail clubmoss, Running clubmoss, Running ground-pine, Running pine[1], Running moss, Princess Pine, and others.


The spores of this moss, "Lycopodium powder", are explosive if present in the air in high enough densities. They were used as flash powder in early photography.


  1. ^ a b Bailey, L.H.; Bailey, E.Z.; the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan, New York.
  2. ^ Plantlife website

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lycopodium clavatum —   Licopodio …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lycopodium clavatum — Keulen Bärlapp Keulen Bärlapp (Lycopodium clavatum ssp. clavatum) Systematik Überabteilung: Gefäßsp …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lycopodium clavatum — Lycopode officinal Lycopode officinal …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lycopodium clavatum — Lycopode officinal …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lycopodium clavatum — šarkakojis pataisas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Pataisinių šeimos vaistinis augalas (Lycopodium clavatum), paplitęs Europoje, Azijoje, Afrikoje, Šiaurės ir Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Lycopodium clavatum angl. common club moss;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Lycopodium clavatum — Snake Snake, n. [AS. snaca; akin to LG. snake, schnake, Icel. sn[=a]kr, sn?kr, Dan. snog, Sw. snok; of uncertain origin.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of the order Ophidia; an ophidian; a serpent, whether harmless or venomous. See {Ophidia}, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lycopodium clavatum — Vegetable Veg e*ta*ble, a. [F. v[ e]g[ e]table growing, capable of growing, formerly also, as a noun, a vegetable, from L. vegetabilis enlivening, from vegetare to enliven, invigorate, quicken, vegetus enlivened, vigorous, active, vegere to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lycopodium clavatum — club moss club moss , clubmoss clubmoss . (Bot.) a primitive evergreen mosslike plant with spores in club shaped strobiles, much used in winter decoration. The best known species is {Lycopodium clavatum}, but other {Lycopodia} are often called by …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lycopodium clavatum — ID 50665 Symbol Key LYCL Common Name running clubmoss Family Lycopodiaceae Category Lycopod Division Lycopodiophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution AK, CA, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT,… …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Lycopodium clavatum L. — многол.; VII–VIII Сем. Lycopodiaceae – Плауновые 13. Род Lycopodium L. – Плаун 26. Плаун булавовидный Сухие лесные опушки. . Довольно редко, по всему заповеднику …   Флора Центрально-лесного государственного заповедника

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