Lycopodium obscurum Linnaeus
flat-branched ground-pine

Family: Lycopodiaceae
lateral branch
lateral branch

lateral branch

main stem

strobili before releasing spores

strobili after releasing spores

Lycopodium obscurum spreads by subterranean horizontal stems, each upright shoot appearing somewhat like a small individual tree. The lateral branches appear flattened if viewed from the end or side. Leaves on the main stem are tightly appressed. The leaves along the lower surface of the branch are obviously smaller than the other leaves.

Lycopodium hickeyi and L. dendroideum were long considered to be varieties of L. obscurum and the three species can be difficult to distinguish, especially in dried specimens. The characters by which they are separated are subtle and careful observation and a little practice are required. Refer to the key.

Key to Ferns

Introduction to Ferns

Glossary of terms

List of all Pteridophytes

Explanation of page features

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