Lycopodium fastigiatum


Lycopodium: From the Greek lukos (wolf) and podion (foot)
fastigiatum: fastigiate; from the Latin fastigium; branches lying close together, parallel and erect

Common Name(s)

alpine clubmoss, mountain clubmoss

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Lycopodium fastigiatum R.Br.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Lycophytes (clubmosses, selaginella, quillworts)


Lycopodium clavatum var. fastigiatum (R.Br.) Benth.; Lycopodium curvifolium Colenso; Lycopodium decurrens Colenso; Lycopodium scopulosum Colenso; Austrolycopodium fastigiatum (R.Br.) Holub; Lycopodium arcitenentis Herter; Lycopodium cochinchense Herter ex Nessel


Indigenous. New Zealand: North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Antipodes, Campbell and Auckland Islands (from Te Moehau and Mt Pirongia south). Also Australia.


Coastal to alpine (in northern part of North Island range strictly montane) in frost flats, subalpine and geothermal scrub, alpine herbfield, grassland and peat bogs.


Rhizome mostly buried, creeping, bearing scattered, appressed scale-leave. Aerial branches erect (occasionally prostrate with branchlets upturned), rigid 30-400 mm tall, much-branched. Leaves spirally arranged, imbricate, decurrent, 3-5 mm long. 0.6-1.0 mm wide, linear to linear-lanceolate, incurved, green, yellow-green or orange (especially when in exposed situations). Strobili erect, terminal, projecting above the foliage, 20-70(-100) mm long, 1-3 aggregated on a common peduncle with widely scattered appressed scale leaves. Sporophylls imbricate, peltate, lanceolate, pale to dark brown or somewhat orange, with paler membranous margins. Description adapted from Chinnock (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).

Similar Taxa

A very distinctive species that is likely to be confused only with Lycopodium deuterodensum which is a more northerly occurring species inhabiting lower altitudes and which differs from L. fastigiatum by the leaves of fertile aerial stems being tightly appressed, and by the sessile (i.e. without stalks) strobili.



Flower Colours

No Flowers



Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 60

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available.


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 20 March 2011.Description adapted from Chinnock (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).

References and further reading

Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland, David Bateman

Chinnock, R.J. 1998: Lycopodiaceae. Flora of Australia 48: 66-85.

This page last updated on 11 Aug 2014