E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lycopodium annotinum L.
stiff club-moss (stiff clubmoss)
Lycopodiaceae (Club-moss family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76468)

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Distribution of Lycopodium annotinum
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Species Information

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Evergreen perennial; stems horizontal, long-creeping, branched; erect branches with numerous leaves, 5-25 cm tall.
Linear-lanceolate, 3-10 mm long, with 1-3 small irregular teeth close to the tips, the tips without bristles.
1-4 cm long, single, unstalked at the top of upright branches; sporophylls broadly egg-shaped with fringed margins.
A variable species. In this treatment it includes Lycopodium dubium Zoega, which is treated by some authors as a separate species.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist coniferous forests, heath, wet peat bogs and rock outcrops in the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT, NT, E to NF and S to NC, WV, ID, and OR, disjunct in NM; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lycopodium annotinum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 1126 2500
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 200
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 356 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), BAFA(1), BWBS(376), CWH(183), ESSF(1869), ICH(1054), IDF(50), MH(35), MS(326), SBPS(57), SBS(1344), SWB(115)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, montane to subalpine, circumpolar club-moss (transcontinental in North America). Occurs in boreal and cool temperate climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-medium soils; its occurrence increases with increasing latitude. Sporadic in non-forested communities and in coniferous forests on water-shedding sites (less frequently on water-receiving sites). Characteristic of boreal coniferous forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lycopodium annotinum subsp. alpestre (Hartm.) A. Löve & D. Löve
Lycopodium annotinum subsp. annotinum
Lycopodium annotinum subsp. pungens (La Pylaie) Hultén
Lycopodium annotinum var. acrifolium Fernald
Lycopodium annotinum var. alpestre Hartm.
Lycopodium annotinum var. pungens (La Pylaie) Desv.
Lycopodium dubium Zoega
Lycopodium pungens

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References