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Lycopodium digitatum (Fan clubmoss)
Cressler, Alan

Lycopodium digitatum

Lycopodium digitatum Dill. ex A. Braun

Fan Clubmoss, Running Cedar, Ground Pine

Lycopodiaceae (Club-Moss Family)

Synonym(s): Diphasiastrum digitatum, Diphasium complanatum ssp. flabelliforme, Lycopodium complanatum var. flabelliforme, Lycopodium flabelliforme, Lycopodium flabelliforme var. ambiguum

USDA Symbol: LYDI3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Though its foliage looks like that of a coniferous plant like pine or juniper, Lycopodium digitatum is in fact a clubmoss, a relative of ferns, with spores instead of seeds. Its cedar-like appearance, low growth, evergreen leaves, and spreading habit make it ideal for the well-drained eastern woodland landscape. Once established, it spreads quickly by stems that lie just at the surface of the soil.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: 5 to 10 inches high
Leaf: Dark green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Non-flowering, sporulating plant.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MN , MO , NC , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: Eastern North America from Quebec to Alabama, Zones 4 to 7
Native Habitat: Dry, well-drained woodlands and pine forests

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained, acidic, rich or poor soils.
Conditions Comments: Prefers dry conditions but tolerates some moisture.


Use Ornamental: A good evergreen groundcover for shade in eastern North America
Use Wildlife: Winter browse
Use Other: Formerly gathered for Christmas decorations, but deforestation made it too rare to be used.
Interesting Foliage: yes


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Lycopodium digitatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lycopodium digitatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lycopodium digitatum


Record Modified: 2018-05-18
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