Lycopodiella alopecuroides (L.) Cranfill

foxtail bog-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

Foxtail bog-clubmoss reaches the northernmost limit of its range in New England. It is relatively common along the Atlantic seaboard, but is rare in southern New England. There is also one disjunct population in Maine. It inhabits wet, sandy sites, and peat swamps.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), bogs, grassland

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
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, but no branches
Horizontal stem
the horizontal stem arches over the 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 tiny teeth
Constriction zones
  • there are no constrictions on the horizontal stem with smaller leaves
  • there are no constrictions on the vertical stem with smaller leaves
Spore leaf length
5.5–9 mm
Leaf outline
  • the vegetative leaves are widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip (lanceolate)
  • 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
    5.8–6.6 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 widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip (lanceolate)
    • the vegetative leaves are long and very narrow (linear)
    Leaf ranks
    NA
    Leaf shape
    the vegetative leaves are short and scale-like
    Spore leaf length
    5.5–9 mm
    Teeth on leaf edges
    the edges of the vegetative leaves have tiny teeth
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • bogs
    • grasslands
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Spores or spore cones
    Cone base at stem
    the base of the spore-cone does not have a distinct stalk
    Cone stalk branching
    the stalks bearing the spore cones are unbranched
    Cone thickness
    2–3 mm
    Cone width
    12–20 mm
    Length of cone
    17–50 mm
    Number of cones
    1
    Quillwort itssue covering spores
    NA
    Same or different spores
    there is only one type of spore present
    Spore diameter
    Up to 0.05
    Spore girdle
    NA
    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 slant out from the axis at an angle of 45–90 degrees
    • the sporophylls slant upwards at a steep angle
    Spore leaf shape
    the spore-bearing leaves are small and scale-like
    Spore leaf teeth
    the edges of the spore-bearing leaves have tiny teeth
    Spore texture
    the spore surface has an irregular pattern of ridges and empty spaces (rugulate), or it has minute pits on it (foveolate)
    Sporophyll ranks
    the sporophylls come off the cone at many different angles (5 or more ranks)
    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 main stem has no branches
    Constriction zones
    • there are no constrictions on the horizontal stem with smaller leaves
    • there are no constrictions on the vertical stem with smaller leaves
    Form of shoot
    the plant has an upright stem, but no branches
    Horizontal stem
    the horizontal stem arches over the ground
    Horizontal stem length
    85–360 mm
    Horizontal stem thickness
    1.2–3.1 mm
    Stem height
    60–310 mm

Wetland Status

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

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Maine
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Rhode Island
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), state endangered (code: SE)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Lycopodiella appressa:
sporophylls appressed, mostly 2.9-5 mm long, and horizontal shoots prostrate (vs. L. alopecuroides, with sporophylls spreading, 5.5-9 mm long, and horizontal shoots arching).

Synonyms

  • Lepidotis alopecuroides (L.) Rothm.
  • Lycopodium alopecuroides L.

Family

Lycopodiaceae

Genus

Lycopodiella

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Lycopodiella alopecuroides (L.) Cranfill NC

foxtail bog-clubmoss. Lepidotis alopecuroides (L.) Rothm.; Lycopodium alopecuroides L. 
• CT, MA, ME, RI; southern and eastern New England. Wet, sandy and/or peaty soils along 
the coastal plain, often in disturbed sites such as abandoned borrow pits and powerline rights-of-way. Regionally rare in New England and disjunct in south-central ME.

1×2. Lycopodiella alopecuroides × Lycopodiella appressa Lycopodiella ×‌copelandii (Eiger) Cranfill is an extremely rare bog-clubmoss hybrid known from the coastal plain of southern New England in CT, MA. It is marked by ascending sporophylls and weakly arching horizontal stems rooting mostly 3.5–10.5 cm distal to the proximal most upright shoot. Interestingly, many of the sporophylls and trophophylls on most specimens are entire in this hybrid.

1×3. Lycopodiella alopecuroides × Lycopodiella inundata Lycopodiella ×‌robusta (R.J. Eat.) A. Haines is a very rare bog-clubmoss hybrid in New England that is known from MA, ME. It generally resembles L. alopecuroides but has a relatively taller strobilus (34–52% vs. 6–36% of the total upright shoot height), less conspicuously arching stems, and fewer teeth on the margins of the horizontal shoot trophophylls (0–2 vs. 1–8 per margin).