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Fir Clubmoss

Scientific name: Huperzia selago
Fir Clubmoss is a primitive plant found in rocky, moorland and mountain habitats. The stems of this tufted, upright fern look like tiny conifers.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 10cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

Clubmosses are very primitive plants that are found in rocky habitats, and on moorland, bogs and mountains. They reproduce by spores at the base of their leaves. Fir Clubmoss is a tufted, upright fern that is particularly common in Scotland, but can be found among rocks and on bare ground in upland areas around the UK.

How to identify

There are seven species of clubmoss in the UK, which are very difficult to tell apart. Fir Clubmoss is a member of the 'fern allies' section of flora and is yellowy-green with upright stems and needle-like leaves, giving it the look of a tiny conifer.

Distribution

Widespread in the uplands.

Did you know?

Clubmosses are members of an ancient group of plants that included the tree-like Lepidodendrons that dominated the world in the Carboniferous period, some 320 million years ago. These trees and mosses died and fossilised to become the coal we use for fuel today.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts are working to restore and protect our heathlands by promoting good management, clearing encroaching scrub and implementing beneficial grazing regimes. This work is vital if these habitats are to survive; you can help by supporting your local Wildlife Trust and becoming a member or volunteer.