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Fir Clubmoss

Huperzia selago

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Lycopodiaceae (Clubmoss)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
10 centimetres tall
Bogs, fens, gardens, grassland, heathland, moorland, mountains, rocky places, woodland.
Clubmosses are non-flowering plants. They reproduce by means of spores.
Solitary, unstalked cones at the top of the plant. The spores ripen in August.
A low, creeping plant with spreading, untoothed, scale-like leaves.
Other Names:
Lesser Firmoss, Northern Fir Clubmoss, Northern Firmoss.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Huperzia selago, also known as northern fir clubmoss or lesser firmoss, is a species of plant in the family Lycopodiaceae. It is native to cold, temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. Northern fir clubmoss is a small, herbaceous plant that grows in a creeping or spreading habit. It has small, scale-like leaves and produces small, green or brownish-green flowers. It is commonly found in coniferous forests and is used in horticulture as an ornamental plant.


Fir Clubmoss: A Unique Plant of the Huperzia Genus

Huperzia selago, commonly known as Fir Clubmoss, is a unique and fascinating plant species that belongs to the Lycopodiaceae family. It is native to the Northern Hemisphere and can be found growing in cold and damp environments such as bogs, fens, and mountain slopes.

One of the most distinctive features of Fir Clubmoss is its growth habit. It forms dense, green mats that can grow up to 20 cm tall. The plant is evergreen and produces tiny leaves and cones that are arranged in a spiral pattern along the stem. The cones are the reproductive structures of the plant and contain tiny spores of spores called spores, which are dispersed by wind and water to form new plants.

Fir Clubmoss is also unique in its chemical properties. It contains a compound called Huperzine A, which has been shown to have cognitive and memory-enhancing effects. This compound has been the subject of numerous studies and is used in some countries as a prescription drug for treating Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Fir Clubmoss is also prized by gardeners for its ornamental value. The plant's dense mats and deep green color provide a beautiful contrast to other plants in the garden, and it is particularly well-suited for use in rock gardens and as a groundcover.

Despite its popularity and usefulness, Fir Clubmoss is a relatively unknown species to many people. In order to protect and preserve this valuable plant, it is important to understand its biology and ecology. This includes understanding the conditions it requires to thrive, its role in the ecosystem, and the threats it faces from human activities such as habitat destruction and over-harvesting.

In conclusion, Fir Clubmoss is a fascinating and valuable plant species that deserves more attention and recognition. With proper understanding and conservation efforts, we can ensure the continued survival of this unique and useful plant for future generations to enjoy.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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