Club-mosses (Lycopodiales) are homosporous, but the genera Selaginella (spikemosses) and Isoetes (quillworts) are heterosporous, with female spores larger than the male. As they are heterosporous, the gametophyte of spikemosses and quillworts must be dioicous (separate male and female). Additionally, the club-moss gametophyte is monoicous (both male and female sex organs forming on the same gametophyte). As a result of fertilisation, the female gametophyte produces sporophytes. A few species of Selaginella such as S. apoda and S. rupestris are also viviparous; the gametophyte develops on the mother plant, and only when the sporophyte's primary shoot and root is developed enough for independence is the new plant dropped to the ground. Club-moss gametophytes are mycoheterotrophic and long-lived, residing underground for several years before emerging from the ground and progressing to the sporophyte stage.
Licopodium sp., the club moss. 7516095 \u00a9 Dmitry Zhukov Dreamstime.comClub mosses (courtesy Jim Basinger).Club mosses (Lycopodium) are part of a very ancient lineage known as the \u0093lycophytes\u0094 (courtesy Jim Basinger)PreviousNextClub-moss, perennial, evergreen, coarsely mosslike plants belonging to the genera Diphasiastrum, Huperzia, Lycopodiella and Lycopodium of the club-moss family (Lycopodiaceae). Stems have forked branches, and are often prostrate and covered with scalelike leaves. Leaves are lanceolate to oblong or slender, tapering to linear in shape, entire or minutely toothed.
Club-mosses show alternation of generations, eg, an asexual phase alternates with a sexual one. Each stage is an independent plant. Reproduction is accomplished by spores produced in spore cases (sporangia) borne on the upper surfaces of modified leaves of plants of the asexual or sporophyte phase. In most Canadian species, these modified leaves are condensed to form a cone. Spores germinate, producing small underground plants (prothallia) on which are borne antheridia, which produce sperm, and archegonia, which produce eggs. Prothallia are the sexual generation. Fertilization of the egg and subsequent development produces the familiar club-moss plant, the sporophyte generation. Some species reproduce by gemmae (asexual buds that detach from the parent plant), eg, in Canada, H. selago.
Interrupted club-moss is a perennial sporiferous plant and the most common club-moss of our forests. Its upright branches rise from its long stem that creeps along the forest floor. The leaves of interrupted club-moss are needle-like and its cones are yellowish green and spindle-shaped. The spores ripen in June-September.
The Finnish name of interrupted club-moss (riidenlieko) originates from rickets because the plant was used to cure it. Its spores have been used in folk medicine to treat wounds and skin diseases as well as in pharmacies to cover tablets to prevent them getting stuck on each other. The spores are also easily flammable which previously was taken good use of in photography and nowadays in fire effects in pyrotechnics. 041b061a72