Lycopodium clavatum (wolf paw clubmoss)

Lycopodium clavatum, also known as  stag’s horn or wolf paw clubmoss is widespread in northern temperate, sub arctic and alpine environments.

Lycopodium clavatum is an ancient species resembling some of the earliest plants to live on land. 

The spores of Lycopodium clavatum form Lycopodium powder, which has many commercial uses including as an explosive for special effects in the film industry.

Species detail

Lycopodium clavatum belongs to an ancient family (Lycopodiaceae) with a geological history of over 380 million years.

Little changed from its forebears, this diminutive fern ally bears a strong resemblance to some of the earliest plants to live on land.

  • Lycopodium clavatum
    Taxonomy

    Read about the shape and size of Lycopodium clavatum and what features distinguish this species from its close relatives in the UK.

  • Lycopodium clavatum
    Distribution

    Learn where this species can be found in the UK and the types of areas it commonly grows in.

  • Lycopodium clavatum
    Commercial uses

    Lycopodium clavatum is used to make Lycopodium Powder, which has a wide range of uses including an explosive used by the film industry. Find out other interesting uses for Lycopodium clavatum.

  • Lycopodium clavatum
    Conservation

    Discover why Lycopodium clavatum has become endangered in certain areas.

Images

Lycopodium clavatum

Lycopodium clavatum

Lycopodium clavatum

Globally Lycopodium clavatum is endangered over various parts of its range through habitat destruction and commercial exploitation. © P. Kenrick

Lycopodium clavatum

In the UK Lycopodium clavatum is mostly confined to upland sites in the west and north, or scattered on heaths in the south.

L. clavatum line drawing

Lycopodium clavatum line drawing. © P. Kenrick, P. R. Crane

Author

Dr Paul Kendrick