Huperzia Bernh. - firmosses or fir clubmosses

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic perennials. Roots usually forming a basal tuft. Stems isotomously branched, branches equally thick, lacking elongated, indeterminate main stems. Sporophylls and vegetative leaves alike, or the sporophylls if smaller, are persistent. Strobili not or poorly developed. Sporangium epidermal cells sinuate.


Derivation of name:  Huperzia: named after Johann Peter Huperz (1771-1816), German botanist.

Worldwide: Almost cosmopolitan, 200-300 species.



We have 19 taxa in the database for Huperzia.

  • Huperzia afromontana Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia bampsiana Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia brachystachya (Baker) Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia dacrydioides (Baker) Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia dura Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia ellenbeckii (Nessel) Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia funicula (Herter) J.P.Roux
  • Huperzia gnidioides (L.f.) Trevis.
  • Huperzia holstii (Hieron.) Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia jaegeri (Herter) Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia mildbraedii (Herter) Pic.Ser.
  • Huperzia ophioglossoides (Lam.) Rothm.
  • Huperzia phlegmaria (L.) Rothm.
  • Huperzia saururus (Lam.) Trevis.
  • Huperzia sooiana (Lawalrée) Holub
  • Huperzia staudtii (Nessel) Pic.Serm.
  • Huperzia tournayana (Lawalrée) Holub
  • Huperzia verticillata (L.f.) Trevis.
  • Huperzia warneckei (Herter ex Nessel) Pic.Serm.


  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.