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Stagshorn Clubmoss

Lycopodium clavatum

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)
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres long
Fields, grassland, heathland, moorland, mountains, waterside, wetland, woodland.
Clubmosses reproduce by spores. They are flowerless.
Long-stalked, yellowish-green cones, in pairs of groups of 3. The cones measure up to 3cm long and 0.5cm wide. The spores ripen in July and August.
Stagshorn Clubmoss has long, creeping, branched stems. The bright green leaves curl inwards and end in a point with a pale green or whitish hair. Evergreen.
Other Names:
Common Clubmoss, Ground Pine, Running Clubmoss, Stag's-horn Clubmoss.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Lycopodium clavatum, also known as running clubmoss or stag's horn clubmoss, 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. Running 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.


Staghorn Clubmoss: A Unique and Resilient Plant

Staghorn Clubmoss, scientifically known as Lycopodium clavatum, is a species of clubmoss that is commonly found in temperate regions across the world. This plant has been around for millions of years, and it's not hard to see why it has survived for so long - Staghorn Clubmoss is both unique and resilient.

One of the most notable features of Staghorn Clubmoss is its distinctive shape. As the name suggests, the plant looks like the antlers of a stag, making it a popular addition to botanical gardens and other ornamental settings. But beyond its striking appearance, Staghorn Clubmoss is also a useful plant in many different ways.

For starters, Staghorn Clubmoss is a natural source of lycopodium powder, a fine, yellowish powder that is commonly used in theatrical and pyrotechnic special effects. The powder is non-toxic and burnable, making it an ideal ingredient for creating safe, smoke-like effects in performances. Additionally, the plant's spores are often used as a stuffing material for pillows, cushions, and other soft goods, due to its soft, spongy texture.

In the wild, Staghorn Clubmoss is a hardy and resilient species that can grow in a wide range of conditions. It's commonly found in damp, shady locations, but it can also thrive in bright, sunny locations as well. The plant is also able to tolerate a wide range of temperatures, making it an ideal choice for gardeners in temperate climates.

In terms of care, Staghorn Clubmoss is relatively low-maintenance. It prefers soil that is rich in organic matter, and it should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist. However, the plant is also able to tolerate periods of drought, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance option.

Staghorn Clubmoss is a unique and resilient plant that is worth considering for anyone who is looking to add something special to their garden or ornamental collection. Whether you're interested in its distinctive appearance, its uses as a natural resource, or its low-maintenance nature, Staghorn Clubmoss is a plant that is sure to make a great addition to any setting.

In addition to its ornamental and practical uses, Staghorn Clubmoss is also an important plant in many different ecosystems. For example, the plant provides a source of food and habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including insects, birds, and small mammals.

In terms of its ecological significance, Staghorn Clubmoss plays a key role in the forest floor ecosystem by helping to maintain soil structure and nutrient levels. The plant's root system is extensive and it helps to hold the soil in place, preventing erosion and promoting healthy soil conditions. Additionally, the plant's decomposing leaves and stems provide organic matter to the soil, which is essential for the growth of other plants.

However, despite its resilience and importance, Staghorn Clubmoss is still vulnerable to certain threats. For example, the plant is susceptible to damage from air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide, which can cause it to become stunted or even die. In addition, the plant is also threatened by habitat destruction and over-harvesting, which can reduce its population and lead to a decline in its overall health.

To help protect this important plant, it is important to be mindful of its ecological needs and to promote sustainable practices in areas where Staghorn Clubmoss is found. This includes minimizing the use of harmful chemicals and pollutants, protecting habitats from destruction, and avoiding over-harvesting the plant or its products.

Staghorn Clubmoss is a unique and valuable plant that plays a crucial role in many different ecosystems. Whether you're interested in its ornamental beauty, its practical uses, or its ecological significance, Staghorn Clubmoss is a plant that deserves our attention and protectior.

Aside from its ornamental and ecological value, Staghorn Clubmoss also has a rich cultural history and significance. For example, the plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicines, where it has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, joint pain, and respiratory issues.

In many cultures, Staghorn Clubmoss has also been used in spiritual and religious practices, as it was believed to have protective and purifying properties. The plant has been used in rituals to cleanse homes and sacred spaces, and to ward off evil spirits.

Staghorn Clubmoss is also an important plant in folklore, where it is often associated with the magic and mystery of the forest. In many cultures, the plant is believed to have mystical powers and is used in spells and incantations to bring good luck and prosperity.

Overall, Staghorn Clubmoss is a fascinating plant that has played a significant role in the history and culture of many societies. Whether you're interested in its ornamental beauty, its practical uses, its ecological significance, or its cultural heritage, Staghorn Clubmoss is a plant that is truly worth appreciating.

In conclusion, Staghorn Clubmoss is a unique and valuable plant that deserves our attention and protection. Whether you're interested in its ornamental beauty, its practical uses, its ecological significance, or its cultural heritage, Staghorn Clubmoss is a fascinating and important part of our natural world. By appreciating this plant and promoting sustainable practices, we can help ensure that Staghorn Clubmoss continues to thrive for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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