Running-pine - Lycopodium lagopus
Lycopodium clavatum var. lagopus
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana. Currently known from two occurrences in the northwest portion of the state. Trend data are unavailable. The known sites do not appear likely to be negatively impacted or threatened from human activity at the current time.
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
Score3 - Vey Small: Generally <2,000 individuals.
CommentOne population was observed to only have several dozen plants. The other population was only described as locally common. Additional population information should be collected.
Score1 - Peripheral, Disjunct or Sporadic Distribution in MT: Widespread species that is peripheral, disjunct or sporadically distributed within MT such that it occurs in <5% of the state (<7,500 sq. miles or the combined area of Beaverhead and Ravalli Counties) or is restricted to 4-5 sub-basins.
Area of Occupancy
Score3 - Very Low: Generally occurring in 3 or fewer Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).
Score1-2 - Moderate to High.
Score0-3 - Population trends are unknown.
CommentTrend data are unavailable. Habitat is remote and generally not subject to human disturbance but downward trends are possible due to dorought or warming conditions.
Score0 - Low: Impacts, if any, to the species are expected to be minor or insignificant (affecting <10% of populations) in severity, scope and immediacy.
Score1-2 - Moderate to High Vulnerability.
Raw Conservation Status Score
9 to 14 total points scored out of a possible 19.
Running-pine is a low evergreen perennial with densely leafy, branched, upright shoots that are 5-8 mm in diameter including the leaves, arising from sparsely leafy, rooted, horizontal stems at the surface. Upright shoots have 2-4 low, ascending vegetative branches and a taller, terminal branch that usually bears a single club-like cone. Appressed to ascending green leaves are crowded on the branches in longitudinal rows of six or more. The leaves are 3-5 mm long by 0.4-0.7 mm wide, with smooth margins and pointed tips ending with hairs. A solitary (rarely 2) terminal cone is borne on an unbranched peduncle , 3.5-12.5 cm long, with sparse appressed leaves. The cone is 20-55 mm long by 3-5 mm long, and is composed of tightly packed sporophylls that are 1.5-2.5 mm long and gradually taper to a a hair tip. Kidney shaped sporangia are borne within at the bases of the sporophylls.
Producing spores in July.
Lycopodium lagopus is most closely related to L. clavatus. Both species have branched upright shoots, hair tipped leaves in rows of 6 or more, and cones on peduncles distinct from leafy branches. The latter differs by having more lateral spreading branches rather than ascending ones, longer, more spreading leaves, and 2-5 cones borne on a loosely branched peduncle. A hand lens may be needed for positive identification.
One collection in Glacier National Park; circumboreal, BC, MB, MI, 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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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Turf along drainages and moist slopes in alpine zone.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- Lesica, P., P. Husby, and S. V. Cooper. 1998. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 45:328-330.