club moss

any plant of the genus Lycopodium.
[1590-1600]

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Any of about 200 species of primitive vascular plants that constitute the genus Lycopodium (order Lycopodiales), mainly native to tropical mountains but also common in northern forests of both hemispheres.

They are evergreen plants with needlelike leaves and, often, conelike clusters of small leaves (strobili; see cone), each with a kidney-shaped spore capsule at its base. Representative species include running pine, or stag's horn moss (L. clavatum), ground cedar (L. complanatum ‘flabelliforme'), shining club moss (L. lucidulum), fir club moss (L. selago), ground pine (L. obscurum), and alpine club moss (L. alpinum).

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plant
also called  ground pine 
 common name for plants in the family Lycopodiaceae, which contains the genera Huperzia (300 species), Lycopodiella (40 species), and Lycopodium (40 species), though some botanists split up these genera into 10 or more genera. The plants are mainly native to tropical mountains but also common in northern forests of both hemispheres. Club mosses are evergreen herbs with needlelike or scalelike leaves and, often, conelike clusters of small leaves (strobili), each with a kidney-shaped spore capsule at its base. An underground sexual phase plant (one that produces gametes, or sex cells), alternates in the life cycle with the spore-producing plant.

      Running pine, or stag's horn moss (Lycopodium clavatum), has creeping stems to 3 metres (about 10 feet) long and has 10-centimetre- (about 4-inch-) high ascending branches. The scalelike green leaves are set closely together. Running pine is native to open, dry woods and rocky places in the Northern Hemisphere. The spore-producing leaves are arranged in pairs along a stalklike strobilus. Ground cedar (Lycopodium digitatum), native to northern North America, produces fanlike branches resembling juniper branchlets. Shining club moss (Huperzia lucidula), a North American species occurring in wet woods and among rocks, has no distinct strobili; it bears its spore capsules at the bases of leaves scattered along the branches. Fir club moss (H. selago), a 20-cm-tall plant native on rocks and bog margins in the Northern Hemisphere, also lacks distinct strobili. Ground pine (Lycopodium obscurum), a 25-cm-tall plant, has underground-running stems. It is native to moist woods and bog margins in northern North America, to mountain areas farther south, and to eastern Asia. Alpine club moss (Lycopodium alpinum), with yellowish or grayish leaves, is native to cold woods and Alpine mountains in northern North America and Eurasia.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • club moss — clubmoss clubmoss . (Bot.) a primitive evergreen mosslike plant with spores in club shaped strobiles, much used in winter decoration. The best known species is {Lycopodium clavatum}, but other {Lycopodia} are often called by this name. The spore …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • club moss — n any of an order (Lycopodiales) of primitive vascular plants including several (genus Lycopodium) whose spores are used as a dusting powder and to coat pills * * * 1. any moss of the genus Lycopodium; some species have their spores inside small… …   Medical dictionary

  • club moss — club′ moss n. 1) pln any of various low, seedless, evergreen plants of the phylum Lycophyta, having a single vascular strand 2) pln Also called lycopod any club moss of the genus Lycopodium , bearing cones at the tips of erect branches, as the… …   From formal English to slang

  • club moss — [klub′môs΄] n. LYCOPOD …   English World dictionary

  • club moss — noun primitive evergreen moss like plant with spores in club shaped strobiles • Syn: ↑club moss, ↑lycopod • Hypernyms: ↑fern ally • Hyponyms: ↑shining clubmoss, ↑Lycopodium lucidulum, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • club-moss — noun primitive evergreen moss like plant with spores in club shaped strobiles • Syn: ↑club moss, ↑lycopod • Hypernyms: ↑fern ally • Hyponyms: ↑shining clubmoss, ↑Lycopodium lucidulum, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • club moss — ground ground (ground), n. [OE. ground, grund, AS. grund; akin to D. grond, OS., G., Sw., & Dan. grund, Icel. grunnr bottom, Goth. grundus (in composition); perh. orig. meaning, dust, gravel, and if so perh. akin to E. grind.] 1. The surface of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • club moss — noun Date: 1597 any of an order (Lycopodiales) of primitive vascular plants (as ground pine) often with the sporangia borne in club shaped strobili …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • club moss — noun Any of various simple microphyllous vascular plants, of the family Lycopodiaceae, that resemble mosses and produce spores. Syn: lycopod, lycopodium …   Wiktionary

  • club moss — /klʌb ˈmɒs/ (say klub mos) noun any plant of the genus Lycopodium …   Australian English dictionary

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