Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic.Serm.

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Lycopodiella cernua

Picture: Petra Ballings
Vumba, Cloudlands

Lycopodiella cernua

Picture: Petra Ballings
Vumba, Cloudlands

Lycopodiella cernua

Picture: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden, upper rd

Lycopodiella cernua

Picture: Bart Wursten
Vumba Botanic Garden, upper rd

Lycopodiella cernua

Picture: Petra Ballings
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Lepidotis cernua (L.) P. Beauv.
Lycopodiella cernua (L.) Pic. Ser.
Lycopodium cernuum L.
Lycopodium secundum K. Muell.
Common names:
Main stem creeping on the ground for most of its length, rooting at points of contact with the ground; secondary stems erect, much-branched; tree-like. Foliage leaves needle-like, 3 × 0.3 mm, entire, patent and curving forward. Fertile portions borne in sessile, solitary, strobili, up to 1 cm long, at the apex of the drooping branches. Sporophylls 1.5 × 1.2 mm, ovate, tapering.
Type location:
Notes: Very distinctive drooping cones, should not be confused with any other fern.
Derivation of specific name: cernua: drooping, nodding; referring to the hanging branch tips and strobili that make the plant look like a miniature fir tree.
Altitude range: Up to 2000 m
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,Mc,C,Lk
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 18. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 80.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 34. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 24.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 42 - 43. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 12.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 138. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 28 - 29.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 7.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 23.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 17 - 18.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 20.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 79.

Other sources of information about Lycopodiella cernua:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Lycopodiella cernua
Flora of Malawi: Lycopodiella cernua
Flora of Mozambique: Lycopodiella cernua
Flora of Zimbabwe: Lycopodiella cernua

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Lycopodiella cernua
African Plant Database: Lycopodiella cernua
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Lycopodiella cernua
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Lycopodiella cernua
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Lycopodiella cernua
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Lycopodiella cernua
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Lycopodiella cernua
JSTOR Plant Science: Lycopodiella cernua
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Lycopodiella cernua
Plants of the World Online: Lycopodiella cernua
Tropicos: Lycopodiella cernua
Wikipedia: Lycopodiella cernua

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Lycopodiella cernua., retrieved 16 June 2024

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