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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Stiff Clubmoss - Lycopodium annotinum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
C-value: 6

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Stiff club-moss, a perennial, has elongated horizontal stems trailing on the ground, rooting at intervals, mostly unbranched. Upright shoots are clustered, mainly unbranched or sparsely branched near the base, 1.2-1.6 cm in diameter and to 20 cm or more in height; annual bud constrictions abrupt and conspicuous. Lateral branchlets few but without the annual constrictions. Leaves dark green, spreading to reflexed, linear-lanceolate (lance-shaped) 2.5 x 6 mm, stiff, sharp pointed, lacking a hair tip. Strobili (cone-like structure composed of overlapping scales bearing spore-containing structures) sessile at the ends of the shoots, solitary, 15-30 x 3.5-4.5 mm. Sporophylls (scales of the strobili) to 3.4 x 2 mm, abruptly narrowed to pointed tips.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
In northwestern MT sporadically east to Stillwater County; AK to Greenland south to AZ, NM, OH, TN (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 143

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Mesic to wet forest; valleys to subalpine, occasionally alpine. A small form of this species can be found growing in Sphagnum moss at the margin of fens (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • 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?
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Hansen, J. J. 1987. Effect of stock density on ground cover on a southwest Montana foothills rangeland. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 65 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Stiff Clubmoss — Lycopodium annotinum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from