Lycopodiella alopecuroides

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Lycopodiella alopecuroides
Lycopodiella alopecuroides Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta – Lycopods
Class: Lycopodiopsida
Order: Lycopodiales
Family: Lycopodiaceae
Genus: Lycopodiella
Species: L. alopecuroides
Binomial name
Lycopodiella alopecuroides
(L.) Cranfill
LYCO ALOP dist.jpg
Natural range of Lycopodiella alopecuroides from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Foxtail clubmoss

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Lycopodium alopecuroides L.


A description of Lycopodiella alopecuroides is provided in The Flora of North America.

"Stems subterranean or on the surface, branching dichotomously and ascending or dividing into horizontal and erect branches. Roots adventitious along the creeping stem. Leaves numerous, small, scale-or awn-like, to 13 mm long, appressed or spreading, sometimes partly fused with the branch, simple, entire or toothed, with a midrib only. Sporophylls more or less like the sterile leaves, either in cauline bands or clustered in sessile or pedunculate, terminal strobili. Sporangia solitary at the leaf base, subglobose to reniform, opening by a transverse slit; spores uniform, tetrahedral. Gametophytes epigeous, green and thalloid, or fleshy, subterranean and mycorrhizal." [1]

"Sterile stems not dorsiventral, arching and rooting at the tip or procumbent and rooting throughout, 2-5 dm long, 3-4 mm in diam.; leaves deciduous except for the evergreen apex (“bud”). Leaves linear-subulate, upcurving, strongly ciliate-denticulate. Fertile stems erect, widely spaced, rarely forking or fascinated, 10-45 cm long, 2-3 mm in diam., 5-13 mm broad including the leaves which are as those of the procumbent branches but longer, ascending, more or less flat when dry, and densely overlapping. Strobili usually solitary, 2-10 cm long, 11-20 mm broad, conspicuously broader than the stem, Sporophylls subulate, spreading, strong ciliate-denticulate. Sporangia globose. Plants without gemmae." [1]




L. alopecuroides occurs in moist to wet semi-shaded soils. [2] Typical soil types range from sandy-peaty soils to loamy sand. [2] This species can be found in several native habitats, but also in disturbed areas. Native habitat types include wet pine savanna, [3] hillside bogs, seasonally inundated meadows, damp grassy palmetto woods, and on the edges of ponds, creeks and titi thickets. [2] It also occurs in disturbed habitat like powerline corridors, roadsides, railways, pine plantations, and borrow pits. [2] Associated species include Ilex myrtifolia, Nyssa biflora, Pinus palutris, Aristida stricta, Cyrilla racemiflora, Juncus, Sarracenia, Rhynchospora, Xyris, Eriocaulon, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus laevis, Pinguicula, Kalmia hirsuta, Serenoa repens, Hypericum, Cliftonia, and Magnolia virginiana. [2]

Fire ecology

This species occurs in habitat that is maintained by frequent or annual fire. [2]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Lycopodiella alopecuroides at Archbold Biological Station: [4]

Halictidae: Augochlorella aurata

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 3-6. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: F. Almeda, Loran C. Anderson, K. Craddock Burks, A. H. Curtiss, Mary Davis, J. P. Gillespie Robert K. Godfrey, Richard D. Houk, C. Jackson, Michael R. Jenkins, Roy Komarek, R. Kral, O. Lakela, R. Lazor, S. W. Leonard, Sidney McDaniel, John T. Mickel, Leon Neel, James H. Peck, Alan R. Smith, E. Laurence Thurston, L. B. Trott, E.S. Ford, P.L. Redfearn, Jr., Allen G. Shuey, Travis MacClendon, Karen MacClendon, and Floyd Griffith. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Calhoun, Clay, Duval, Franklin, Gulf, Hillsborough, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Manatee, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia: Grady and Thomas.
  3. Brewer, J. S., D. J. Baker, et al. (2011). "Carnivory in plants as a beneficial trait in wetlands." Aquatic Botany 94: 62-70.
  4. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.