While doing photographer’s yoga trying to get decent pictures of princess pine, I happened to spy something different. Carefully making my way down a wet slope, then squatting and bracing against a beech tree, I was able to photograph several clumps of this plant: Huperzia lucidula, commonly known as firmoss or shining clubmoss.
Like the Dendrolycopodium in my last post, firmoss is a vascular plant that reproduces via spores rather than seeds, and is in the Lycopodiaceae. It ranges across the eastern US, in wooded ravines and hillsides and other shady, moist places with plenty of leaf litter. It grows in clumps, with the vertical stems reaching no more than eight inches tall.
This plant is completely new to me, made more exciting because I found it in freaking January.