Lycopodium laterale var. diffusum (R.Br.) Hook.f.; Lepidotis diffusa (R.Br.) Rothm.; Lycopodiella ramulosa (Kirk) B.Øllg.; Lycopodium diffusum R.Br.; Lycopodium ramulosum Kirk; Lateristachys ramulosa (Kirk) Holub; Lycopodiella diffusa (R.Br.) B.Øllg.
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.
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 and Auckland Islands (from the Raukumara Range southwards). Also Australia.
Lowland to alpine (mostly montane to alpine in northern part of range), in peat bogs, pakihi country, on coal measures, fell field and on poorly drained, nutrient impoverished soils.
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).
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Main stems up to 200 mm long, prostrate, rooting at intervals. Branchlet systems scattered along main stems, prostrate, appressed to substratum, but with tips upturned, dichotomously branched and ± rosette-forming, often imbricate. Leaves spirally arranged, imbricate, curved upwards, thick, 3.0-5.5 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm wide,linear-subulate to linear-lanceolate, green and then often tipped reddish brown, or reddish brown. Strobili solitary, 6-16 mm long, dark reddish brown, lateral or terminal, sessile. Sporophylls imbricate, ovate, acuminate; bases coalescent; margins entire or with a few obscure teeth. Description adapted from Chinnock (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).
In its extreme state it is easily distinguished from the most common form of Lateristachys lateralis by its dichotomously-branched, prostrate stems. However, forms of L. lateralis growing in restiad peat in the Waikato and on the Chatham islands, and plants of L. lateralis in North-West Nelson appear to intergrade with L. diffusa. Australian treatments (e.g., Chinnock 1998) keep both species but based on field observations in New Zealand it would seem that the status of L. diffusa needs to be investigated further.
Transplants can be grown moderately easily if planted in peat within a pot which is then kept partially immersed in a tub of water.
diffusa: Of spreading growth
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 16 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): Lateristachys diffusa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/lateristachys-diffusa/ (Date website was queried)