Alaskan Clubmoss - Lycopodium sitchense
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
13 collections at MONTU from 5 western Montana counties.
Alaskan Clubmoss is a low evergreen perennial with clustered, branching, upright shoots growing from slender, above-ground or slightly buried, rooting, horizontal stems. Branches are circular in cross-section, most are short at 3-10 cm, vegetative, and bear leaves in longitudinal rows of five. The thick, firm, incurved, sharp pointed green leaves are 3-6 mm long and less than 1 mm wide. Fewer, taller reproductive branches, up to 17.5 cm tall, have similar but less crowded leaves, often in ranks of six, and bear one or more terminal club-like cones where spores are produced. The cones, about 1-4 cm long, are composed of tightly packed straw colored or slightly greenish sporophylls, ca. 2-3 mm long and 1.5-3 mm wide, with kidney-shaped sporangia attached within at their bases.
Producing spores in late June or July.
Distinguished from all other related species and genera in our area by the combination of branches circular in cross section, and with leaves of vegetative branches all alike in five rows. A hand lens is needed for positive identification.
In MT known from Lincoln, Flathead, Missoula, Ravalli, and Lewis and Clark counties; Japan, AK to NL south to OR, MT, and NY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Open, often rocky places at montane to alpine zones.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lellinger, D.B. 1985. A Field Manual of the Ferns and Fern-Allies of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Inst. Press. Washington, D.C. B85LEL01PAUS
- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.