Monthly Archives: July 2015

Bushy Clubmoss

Lycopodium deuterodensum

“A small erect plant, resembling a miniature pine tree”NPOS p. 304

Clubmosses are ancient plants, the oldest fossils dating from the Devonian period 395 Million years ago, 150 Million years before the dinosaurs! I came across this grove of bushy clubmoss at the flat bottom of the small gully behind our house while searching for the dog that had got away again. Bushy clubmoss is supposedly fairly common in wet sandy soil, but this is the first time I recall seeing them. NPOS lists the common name of Lycopodium deuterodensum as “Mountain Clubmoss”, but searching online “Bushy clubmoss” seems to be used more often.

Bushy Clubmoss is small, usually 20-30cm tall, although they are known to  grow larger. They often have a straight central stem where branchlets covered by small scaly leaves sprout from, somewhat resembling miniature pine trees. They are thought to be structurally similar to the earliest vascular plants. They really do look like they are from another time.

Bushy Clubmoss. Clubmoss are ancient plants, first appearing 150 Million years before the dinosaurs. This grove was found at the damp bottom of a small gully out the back.
Bushy Clubmoss. With hand for scale and a bit of contrast from the surrounding bush. The small scaly leaves on this individual are bound tight to the branchlets, I’m not sure why.
Bushy Clubmoss. The tiny leaves have opened from the branchlets
Bushy Clubmoss. One of the larger individuals of the group, 50c coin for scale.

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