Lycopodium scariosum G.Forst.; Lycopodium scariosum var. decurrens (R.Br.) Hook.; Lycopodium distans Colenso; Lycopodium lessonianum A.Rich.; Stachygynandrum scariosum (G.Forst.) P.Beauv.; Diphasium decurrens (R.Br.) Holub; Lycopodium decurrens R.Br.
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 conservation 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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. New Zealand: North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Antipodes, Campbell, and Auckland Islands (from near Mangamuka south but scarce in Northland). Also Australia, Philipines, Borneo and New Guinea.
Coastal to subalpine (mostly montane in the northern North island). A species of open habitats such as mossy roadside banks, stream banks, shrubland, and peaty ground (rarely restiad bog).
Main stems prostrate, creeping to 1 m or more long, with scattered appressed scale-like leaves. Branchlets spreading to ascending (up to 0.5 m tall), dorsiventral, much-branched. Sterile leaves dimorphic, yellowish-green; upper leaves in 2 alternating rows flattened in 1 plane, firm to rigid, decurrent, 3-5 mm long, 1.0-1.5 mm wide ovate to lanceolate often falcate; leaves of undersurface in 2 rows, up to 0.2 mm long, scale-like, with translucent membranous obtuse usually dilated tips. Strobili erect, terminal, 10-50 mm long, orange-brown, mostly solitary, rarely paired. Sporophylls imbricate, subpeltate, ovate-saggitate, stramineous, with translucent membranous tips. Description adapted from Chinnock (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).
The yellow-green colour, flattened leaves and mostly solitary, stalked strobili serve to distinguish this species from all other representatives of the family in New Zealand. Diphasium scariosum is perhaps most similar to reduced states of Pseudodiphasium volubile from which it differs by the smaller stem and branch leaves being confined to the lower surface of stems and by the erect, solitary (rarely paired) rather than clustered and pendulous strobili.
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.
scariosum: Thin a dry; from the Latin scariosus; general appearance
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): Diphasium scariosum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/diphasium-scariosum/ (Date website was queried)