Northern Ontario Plant Database
Lycopodium annotinum L.
En: stiff clubmoss, bristly clubmoss, interrupted clubmoss, common clubmoss
Lycopodiaceae (Clubmoss Family)
General: Perennial, evergreen clubmoss, spreading by above-ground, creeping stems, growing in humus, and bearing erect leafy shoots, to 3 dm tall, simple or forked. Each year's growth is indicated by a distinct narrowing of the stem, with a zone of much smaller leaves (microphylls).
Leaves: Spirally arranged but appearing whorled, dark green; leaves stiff, narrow-elliptic to oblanceolate, to 11 mm long; apex bristle-tipped, leaf margin slightly toothed above the middle. Leaves spreading to reflexed at the base.
Sporangia: Yellow, kidney-shaped (reniform), borne in an elongate, pale green to yellowish cone-like strobilus, to 3.5 cm tall, sessile at the top of an erect leafy branch; bracts of the strobilus are ovate and bristle-tipped.
Habitat and Range: Moist boreal forests, barrens, swamps, clearings, and rocky or peaty sites. Lycopodium annotinum is native to boreal and subarctic North America and Eurasia (circumboreal); it is common throughout Ontario.
Similar Species: Leafy shoots of the bristly clubmoss, Lycopodium annotinum, are similar in appearance to those of the shining firmoss, Huperzia lucidula, but the leafy stems of the firmoss are softer to the touch and the annual constriction is less noticeable than in the bristly clubmoss. Huperzia also lacks strobili, instead, its sporangia are borne in the leaf axils, along the stem axis.
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