Huperzia - Lycopodiaceae

Huperzia phlegmaria (L.) Rothm.

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten






Lycopodium phlegmaria L.
Urostachys phlegmaria (L.) Herter

Common name


Stems up to 45 cm, pendulous, dichotomously branched. Foliage leaves narrowly lanceolate in outline, apex tapering to a point, up to (0.9-)3.3 × 0.4 cm, base narrowed or rounded then strongly narrowed at extreme base, coriaceous, loosely overlapping, somewhat spreading at right angles to stem. Fertile region of stem distinct, 3-13(-24) x 0.15-0.2 cm, 1-3 times dichotomously forked. Sporophylls 1.5-2 × 1.5 mm, ovate in outline, only partly covering the sporangia and usually very slightly longer than them. Sporangia c. 1.3 mm wide.




Deep shade in evergreen forest, Uapaca guinensis-Schefflera secondary forest, intermediate rain forest, riverine forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoro and Mascarene islands, Madagascar, tropical Asia extending to australia and New Zealand.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 19. Not recorded for Zimbabwe
  • 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 15.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 20. Recorded for Malawi only
  • Vercourt, B. (2005) Lycopodiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 9 - 10.