Huperzia selago (L.) Bernh. ex Schrank & Mart.
Northern Firmoss, Fir Clubmoss
Northern firmoss is a North American native. The genus Huperzia is named for a German horticulturalist, Johann Peter Huperz; selago derives from Greek, meaning “flashing.”
Identification: It is easy to overlook these diminutive plants, poking through forest litter. They grow horizontally under the old leaves, producing erect columns less than 4" (10 cm) high, in small clusters or rows. Each column is covered with tiny leaflets ⅛-¼" (5-7.5 mm) × ~⅛" (3.5-4 mm). Each leaflet is shaped like a narrow triangle; those near the bottom are somewhat wider. Leaflets are smooth, shiny, and dark green, with edges that are smooth or sometimes slightly serrated. With magnification, you can see stomates on the leaf surfaces.
Huperzia selago on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods
Huperzia selago at Skye Flora
Huperzia selago on www.dnr.state.wi.us
Huperzia selago at Maine.gov’s Department of Conservation Maine Natural Areas Program
Huperzia selago at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Huperzia selago on eFloras
Huperzia selago description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.