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Any of about 380 species of primitive vascular plants that constitute the family Lycopodiaceae, which contains the genera Huperzia, Lycopodiella, and Lycopodium, mainly native to tropical mountains but also common in northern forests of both hemispheres. They are evergreen plants with needlelike leaves and, often, conelike clusters of small leaves (strobili; seecone), each with a kidney-shaped spore capsule at its base. Representative species include running pine, or stag's horn moss (Lycopodium clavatum), ground cedar (Lycopodium digitatum), shining club moss (Huperzia lucidula), fir club moss (H. selago), ground pine (Lycopodium obscurum), and alpine club moss (Lycopodium alpinum).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on club moss, visit Britannica.com.