The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

common club-moss, elk-moss, lycopode à massue, running club-moss, running-pine, stag's horn clubmoss

Horizontal stems

on substrate surface.

Upright shoots

clustered, 0.6–1.2 cm diam., dominant main shoot with 3–6 branches mostly in lower 1/2.

Lateral branchlets

few and like upright shoots;

annual bud constrictions abrupt, branchlets mostly spreading.


spreading, often somewhat ascending in distal 1/3 of branches, medium green, linear, 4–6 × 0.4–0.8 mm;

margins entire;

apex with narrow hair tip 2.5–4 mm.


3.5–12.5 cm, with remote pseudowhorls of appressed leaves, loosely branched into 2–5 alternate stalks, 0.5–0.8 cm.


2–5 on alternate stalks (if double, usually with stalks 5–8 mm), 15–25 × 3–6 mm.


1.5–2.5 mm, apex abruptly reduced to hair tip.


= 68.

Lycopodium clavatum

Habitat Fields and woods
Elevation 100–1800 m (300–5900 ft)
from FNA
AK; CA; CT; GA; ID; IL; IN; KY; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MT; NC; NH; NJ; NY; OH; OR; PA; RI; TN; VA; VT; WA; WI; WV; BC; MB; NB; NF; NS; ON; PE; QC; SK; SPM; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies; Europe; Asia; Africa; Pacific Islands
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Plants found in eastern North America have been called Lycopodium clavatum var. clavatum; those in the western part of the range, which have been called L. clavatum var. integrifolium Goldie, are distinguished by early shedding of the characteristic hairs on the leaf tips.

Lycopodium dendroideum group

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 2.
Parent taxa Lycopodiaceae > Lycopodium
Sibling taxa
L. annotinum, L. dendroideum, L. hickeyi, L. lagopus, L. obscurum
Synonyms L. clavatum var. subremotum
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 1101. (1753)
Web links