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Cairngorm Clubmoss

Lycopodium lagopus

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:
2.7 metres long
Gardens, mountains, woodland.
Clubmosses do not produce flowers. Instead they produce cones which are the seed-bearing part of the plant.
Very short-stalked, solitary cones. Similar in appearance to Stagshorn Clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum) except that is seldom has more than one cone per stem.
Alternate, spirally arranged leaves. Evergreen. 20cm tall.
Other Names:
Arctic Clubmoss, Mountain Clubmoss, One-cone Clubmoss, One-cone Ground-pine.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Lycopodium lagopus, also known as Arctic clubmoss or mountain 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. Arctic 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.


Cairngorm Clubmoss and Lycopodium lagopus: A Journey Through Time

Clubmosses are an ancient group of plants that have been around for millions of years. They were once widespread and dominant across the world, but today are much more limited in their distribution. Among the many species of clubmoss, two of the most fascinating are the Cairngorm Clubmoss (Lycopodium annotinum) and the Arctic Clubmoss (Lycopodium lagopus).

The Cairngorm Clubmoss is a fascinating plant that is well adapted to the harsh and challenging environment of the Scottish Highlands. This clubmoss is found in the high altitudes of the Cairngorm Mountains and is known for its ability to grow in extreme conditions, including high winds, snow, and cold temperatures. Despite these challenges, the Cairngorm Clubmoss continues to thrive and is a popular plant among botanists and plant enthusiasts alike.

Another clubmoss that is worth mentioning is the Arctic Clubmoss (Lycopodium lagopus). This species of clubmoss is found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of the world and is known for its ability to withstand extreme cold and harsh growing conditions. Like the Cairngorm Clubmoss, the Arctic Clubmoss has adapted to its environment by developing a slow rate of growth and a deep root system that helps it to survive in harsh conditions.

Clubmosses have a long and interesting history, and have been used for a variety of purposes throughout human history. In the Middle Ages, clubmosses were used to make fire, as the spores of the plant were easily ignited and could be used as a source of fire. Clubmosses were also used as a medicinal plant, as the spores were believed to have healing properties. In more recent times, clubmosses have been used in the production of cosmetics, as the fragrant oil produced by the plant is believed to have a number of benefits for the skin.

Cairngorm Clubmoss and Lycopodium lagopus are fascinating plants that have adapted to their environment and have played an important role in human history. Whether you are a botanist, plant enthusiast, or simply someone with an interest in the natural world, these clubmosses are certainly worth exploring. So next time you are in the Scottish Highlands or the Arctic, be sure to keep an eye out for these ancient and remarkable plants!