Lycopodium complanatum L. - Northern Ground Cedar


|  back  | forward |

Lycopodium complanatum - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Lycopodiaceae


Acid soil in woods and on rocky slopes.




Circumboreal. Canada south MN to PA.


Low evergreen from horizontal stems on the surface or just below soil level. Upright shoots branched, flattened, with annual constrictions. Leaves green, shiny, 4-ranked, upper leaves appressed, lateral leaves partially free with a spreading or incurved tip. Strobili to 2.5 cm long, terminal, blunt-tipped, in groups of 2 or solitary (occasionally to 4), on forked stalks.


Spores produced August to September

Wetland indicator: Facultative

Some authorities call this species Diphasiastrum complanatum (Linnaeus) Holub.   


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY.


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.


USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (

National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.




 Michael Hough 2005