Northern Ontario Plant Database
Huperzia lucidula (Michx.) Trevis.
En: shining firmoss, shining clubmoss
Lycopodiaceae (Clubmoss Family)
General: Perennial, evergreen clubmoss, spreading from above-ground horizontal stems, with erect shoots 1–2.5 dm tall. Each year's growth is indicated by a slight narrowing of the stem, with a zone of smaller leaves (microphylls).
Stems/Branches: Ascending, to 2.5 dm tall, forked. Each year's growth indicated by a slight narrowing of the stem, with a zone of smaller leaves.
Leaves: Spirally arranged, but appearing whorled; sessile, dark green, glossy, oblanceolate, to 12 mm long, widest above the middle; apex bristle-tipped, margins slightly toothed to entire. Leaves spreading to reflexed.
Sporangia: Yellow, kidney-shaped (reniform), situated along the stem in the angle between the stem and the attached leaf (leaf axils) . Asexual bulblets (gemmae) are borne in the upper leaf axils.
Habitat and Range: Rich boreal and hardwood forests. Huperzia lucidula is native to the north-temperate and southern-boreal regions of eastern North America. It extends farther north in northeastern Ontario than northwestern, and is found throughout eastern and southern Ontario.
Internet Images: This image of Huperzia lucidula, from Southern Illinois University's Land Plants Online website, shows several years' growth, indicated by the slightly narrower regions of the stem.
Similar Species: Leafy shoots of the shining firmoss, Huperzia lucidula, are similar in appearance to those of the bristly or stiff clubmoss, Lycopodium annotinum, but the leafy stems of Huperzia are softer to the touch than those of the bristly clubmoss, which can also be distinguished by its terminal spore-bearing structures (strobili).
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