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Description: Terrestrial or epiphytic plants.
Leaves simple, usually small, with a single vein, often scale-like; leaves that bear sporangia in their axils (sporophylls) either similar to the sterile leaves and arranged in fertile zones on the aerial stems, or modified and aggregated into cone-like strobili.
Spores of one kind only.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 genera, > 381 species, pantropical to southern temperate regions. Australia: 4 genera, 22 species, all States, chiefly from Qld to Tas.
It is now generally accepted that the family Lycopodiaceae contains four genera, following Xllgard (1987, 1989). Two new genera (Lycopodiella and Huperzia) are now included in this revised treatment, as well as the following name changes.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Leaves <10, quill-like and tufted at the top of the short tuberous stem; strobilus on a simple leafless fleshy peduncle||Phylloglossum|
|Leaves numerous, small and often scale-like and overlapping on the long branching stems; strobili if present on simple or branched leafy peduncles||2|
|2||Leaves >1 mm wide, 5–18 mm long; sporophylls similar to vegetative leaves, equal or smaller in size, persistent; plants ± tufted, lacking branched rhizome or creeping stem; branches often growing on beyond fertile part of stem||Huperzia|
|Leaves <1 mm wide, 1–7 mm long; sporophylls strongly modified, very dissimilar to vegetative leaves, ephemeral; plants with branched rhizome or creeping stem, aerial stems or branches not or rarely tufted; strobili terminating main or lateral branches|
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|3||Erect stems branching more than twice; strobili terminating branchlets, erect||Lycopodium|
|Either erect stems unbranched or sometimes once or twice branched and strobili erect, lateral or terminal, or if erect stems more branched then strobili pendent and numerous|
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