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Lycopodium complanatum

Lycopodium complanatum L.

Diphasiastrum complanatum (L.) Holub

Diphasium anceps (Wallr.) A. Löve & D. Löve

Diphasium complanatum (L.) Rothm.

Diphasium complanatum (L.) Rothm. ssp. montellii Kukkonen

Diphasium wallrothii H.P. Fuchs

Lycopodium anceps Wallr.

Lycopodium complanatum L. ssp. anceps (Wallr.) Asch.

Lycopodium complanatum L. var. canadense Victorin

Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionLycopodiophytaAncient plants that have only a single vein per leaf, limiting size
ClassLycopodiopsida“Fern allies”—clubmosses and firmosses
OrderLycopodialesLycopodiums
FamilyLycopodiaceaeLycopodiums, clubmosses
GenusLycopodiumFrom Greek lukos, “wolf,” and podion, “foot”
Speciescomplanatum“Flattened”

About plant names...

Ground cedar is native to Canada, Greenland, northern and central Europe, Russia, China, Japan, India, Thailand, and the northern United States: cool temperate regions around the world. They appear in open woodlands, thickets, heathland or rocky slopes.

Plants: These perennials creep along the ground via stolons, roots that are on or near the surface of the ground, though they are often obscured by leaf litter. Along the roots erect stems appear, branching multiply, making what looks like miniature cedar shrubs. (Ground cedar, a clubmoss, is entirely unrelated to cedars, which are conifer shrubs.) They are 3-17" (7.6-43 cm) tall, including their strobili, vaguely pinecone-like structures.

Leaves: Like real cedars, ground cedar leaves are flattened, with rough teeth or scales. The leaves are bright green and shiny, in four vertical rows, sharp-tipped, partially fused to the stem.

Fruits: Strobilii, reproductive structures, resemble pale yellow brown miniature pine cones thrust upward well above the plant and held erect on long stalks. They appear singly or in pairs.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones The plant contains lycopodine, which paralyzes motor nerves. It also contains clavatine, which is toxic to many mammals. The spores are not toxic.

Online References:

Lycopodium complanatum on www.uwyo.edu

Lycopodium complanatum on BorealForest.org

Lycopodium complanatum on Discover Life

Lycopodium complanatum on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Lycopodium complanatum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

References:

Cobb, Boughton, Farnsworth, Elizabeth & Lowe, Cheryl, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families of Northwestern and Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, p. 294

Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

2/18/2012 · Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

6/18/2016 · Pearl Hill State Park, Ashby, MA

Lycopodium complanatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Jul 2017.

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Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

8/29/2015 · Mount Grace, Athol, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (25 × 16 cm)

Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

8/20/2009 · Hayes Woods Nature Trail, Shirley St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

5/20/2016 · Jeff Smith Trail off Bemis Road, Pepperell, MA

Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

6/7/2017 · Burns Loop Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Burns/Holland Farm, Milford, NH
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Lycopodium complanatum (Ground Cedar, Northern Brown Cedar, Flat-branched Club Moss)

8/20/2009 · Hayes Woods Nature Trail, Shirley St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 8" (25 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...