Alpine clubmoss, mountain clubmoss
Lycopodium fastigiatum R.Br.; 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
Vascular – Native
Lycophytes (clubmosses, selaginella, quillworts)
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.
2n = 60
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
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.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
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).
A very distinctive species that is likely to be confused only with Pseudolycopodium densum which is a more northerly occurring species inhabiting lower altitudes and which differs from Austrolycopodium fastigiatum by the leaves of fertile aerial stems being tightly appressed, and by the sessile (i.e. without stalks) strobili.
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild
fastigiatum: Fastigiate; from the Latin fastigium; branches lying close together, parallel and erect
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.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Austrolycopodium fastigiatum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/austrolycopodium-fastigiatum/ (Date website was queried)