Dendrolycopodium dendroideum (Michx.) A. Haines

prickly tree-clubmoss

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

The branched stem of prickly tree-clubmoss give it the appearance of a miniature tree, and the leaves on the lower part of the upright stem are, in fact, prickly.

Habitat

Forest edges, forests, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf shape
the vegetative leaves are short and scale-like
Spore leaf arrangement
the sporophylls are located on spore cones at the tips of the shoots or branches
Form of shoot
the plant has an upright stem, with branches, those branches having further branches, and so on (tree-like)
Horizontal stem
the horizontal stem is under ground
Leaf differences
the vegetative leaves within a node are all similar in size and shape
Teeth on leaf edges
the edges of the vegetative leaves have no teeth
Constriction zones
  • there are constricted zones on the vertical stem where the leaves are smaller smaller or closer together
  • there are no constrictions on the horizontal stem with smaller leaves
Spore leaf length
3.1–4.1 mm
Leaf outline
the vegetative leaves are long and very narrow (linear)
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Gemma arrangement
    NA
    Gemma shape
    NA
    Gemma width
    0 mm
  • Leaves
    Leaf differences
    the vegetative leaves within a node are all similar in size and shape
    Leaf length
    2–4 mm
    Leaf orientation
    • the vegetative leaves spread away from the stem
    • the vegetative leaves spread slightly away from the stem, at a steep angle
    Leaf outline
    the vegetative leaves are long and very narrow (linear)
    Leaf ranks
    6 or 7
    Leaf shape
    the vegetative leaves are short and scale-like
    Spore leaf length
    3.1–4.1 mm
    Teeth on leaf edges
    the edges of the vegetative leaves have no teeth
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of forests
    • forests
    • woodlands
  • Spores or spore cones
    Cone base at stem
    the base of the spore-cone has a distinct stalk
    Cone stalk branching
    NA
    Cone thickness
    0 mm
    Length of cone
    12–55 mm
    Number of cones
    1–14
    Quillwort itssue covering spores
    NA
    Same or different spores
    there is only one type of spore present
    Spore girdle
    there is no girdle alongside the equatorial ridge
    Spore leaf arrangement
    the sporophylls are located on spore cones at the tips of the shoots or branches
    Spore leaf lifespan
    the sporophylls wither and fall off at the end of the growing season
    Spore leaf orientation
    the sporophylls are pressed against the spore cone
    Spore leaf shape
    the spore-bearing leaves are small and scale-like
    Spore leaf teeth
    The edges of the spore-bearing leaves are smooth, and without teeth
    Spore texture
    the spore surface has a net-like pattern on it (reticulate)
    Sterile tip of cone
    the spore cone does not have a slender, sterile tip (the whole cone produces spores)
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branch cross-section
    the outermost level of branches are round, elliptic or semicircular in cross-section
    Branch form
    the branches are smaller than the main stem
    Constriction zones
    • there are constricted zones on the vertical stem where the leaves are smaller smaller or closer together
    • there are no constrictions on the horizontal stem with smaller leaves
    Form of shoot
    the plant has an upright stem, with branches, those branches having further branches, and so on (tree-like)
    Horizontal stem
    the horizontal stem is under ground
    Stem height
    Up to 260 mm

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Dendrolycopodium hickeyi:
leaves of main axis ascending to appressed (vs. D. dendroideum, with widely ascending to spreading).

Synonyms

  • Lycopodium dendroideum Michx.
  • Lycopodium obscurum L. var. dendroideum (Michx.) D.C. Eat.
  • Lycopodium obscurum L. var. hybridum Farw.

Family

Lycopodiaceae

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Dendrolycopodium dendroideum (Michx.) A. Haines N

prickly tree-clubmoss. Lycopodium dendroideum Michx.; L. obscurum L. var. dendroideum (Michx.) D.C. Eat.; L. obscurum L. var. hybridum Farw. • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT; throughout most of the region except southeastern New England. Interior and edges of hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests and woodlands.

1×2. Dendrolycopodium dendroideum × Dendrolycopodium hickeyi This rare tree-clubmoss hybrid is known from CT, ME, VT.

1×3. Dendrolycopodium dendroideum × Dendrolycopodium obscurum This rare tree-clubmoss hybrid is known from CT, MA, VT.