Huperzia - Lycopodiaceae

Huperzia ophioglossoides (Lam.) Rothm.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Lycopodium ophioglossoides Lam.
Urostachys ophioglossoides (Lam.) Herter ex Nessel
Lycopodium longifolium (P.Beauv.) Sw.

Common name


Stems pendulous, repeatedly dichotomously branched. Foliage leaves 10-20 × 1-2 mm, loosely overlapping, standing out from the branches, narrowly lanceolate, apex tapering, firmly herbaceous. Fertile portion of the stem clearly recognizable. Sporophylls 1.5 × 1 mm, distinctly smaller than the foliage leaves, broadly ovate.


H. ophioglossoides has a narrow and long fertile portion with sporophylls that are much smaller than the foliage leaves.


ophioglossoides: like Ophioglossum, the fertile portion of the stem resembling the fertile spike of Ophioglossum.


Deep shade in moist evergreen forests.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 16. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 36 - 37. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 137 - 138. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 19. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 14.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 18 - 20. (Includes a picture).