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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Running-pine - Lycopodium clavatum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)
C-value: 7

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Lycopodium clavatum occurs in Montana on the eastern edge of its distribution in northwestern North America (FNA 1993). Populations appear stable, though it appears to be under-collected in herbaria. Current data on locations and population sizes are needed.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Running-pine (Lycopodium clavatum) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/13/2017
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Range Extent

    ScoreF - 20,000-200,000 sq km (~8,000-80,000 sq mi)

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreD - 6-25 4-km2 grid cells

    Number of Populations

    ScoreB - 6 - 20

    Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity

    ScoreB - Very few (1-3) occurrences with excellent or good viability or ecological integrity

    Environmental Specificity

    ScoreC - Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce


    ScoreD - Low

    CommentThreat category includes: Logging & wood harvesting.

General Description
Shoots to 20 cm, solitary, often with short, arm-like branches. Leaves spreading or ascending, 3–6 mm long, narrow, entire-margined with hair-like tips. Strobili 1–4 cm long, 2 to 4 spreading or ascending on a branched peduncle sparsely set with yellowish bracts. Sporophylls broadly lanceolate, dentate with a hair-like tip. Similar in stature to the more common L. annotinum, but the long leaf tips are distinctive. One collection from Flathead Co. (C.L. Hitchcock 1868, MONTU) has a solitary strobile but otherwise appears to belong here (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
In MT in Lincoln, Flathead, Glacier, and Ravalli counties; BC to NL south to CA, MT, MB IL, 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: 19

(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)

Moist forest and margins of fens; valleys to montane (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?
    • Britton, N. L. and A. B. Brown. 1913. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions. 2nd Edition in 3 Volumes. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. B13BRI01PAUS.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Running-pine — Lycopodium clavatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from