Pseudolycopodiella caroliniana

Pseudolycopodiella caroliniana (L.) Holub
(of Carolina, because its type specimen came from the “Carolinas,” a region which historically included much of the se U.S.—Nelson 2000)

Local names: slender bog club-moss, Carolina club-moss, slender club-moss

Plant perennial; horizontal stems evergreen at least at apex, shortcreeping, flat on ground, rooted throughout from lower surface, densely covered with leaves, 8–12 mm wide including leaves; horizontal stem leaves dimorphic, the lateral leaves spreading and appearing 2-ranked, lanceolate to lanceolate-ovate, 3.5–7 mm long, 1.2–2.1 mm wide, entire; median leaves smaller, ascending;upright stems (bearing strobili) unbranched, scattered along stems, 5–30 cm long, with only scattered, scalelike, subulate (= awl-shaped), typically appressed, entire leaves ca. 3–5 mm long and 0.5–0.7 mm wide; strobili solitary, terminating upright stems, slender, 9–80(–120) mm long, 2.5–5(–8) mm wide including sporophylls; sporophylls diverging, broadly ovate to deltate basally narrowing to acuminate apically, marginally erose, ca. 3–5 mm long, differently shaped (much wider basally) than the leaves of the supporting upright stems; sporangia reniform (= kidney-shaped), solitary at base of upper side of sporophylls; 2n = 70, 140 (Wagner & Beitel 1993). Depressions in savannahs and open flat pinelands, in acidic soils, often with sphagnum moss; Angelina (F.W. Gould & C. Leinweber 6536, BRIT), Jasper (W.F. Mahler 8350, BRIT), Tyler (BRIT), Hardin, Henderson (BAYLU), and San Augustine (TEX-LL) cos. in s Pineywoods and Lee (TEX-LL) and Leon (Orzell & Bridges 10343, TEX-LL) cos. in the Post Oak Savannah; e U.S. from PA s to FL w to AR and TX and disjunct to MA and KY; also West Indies, Mexico to South America, Asia, Africa. Sporulating Jul-Sep. [Lycopodium carolinianum L.] The slightly disjunct population in Lee Co. is presumably a relict of more humid conditions in the past that has been able to survive since Ice Age times due to unique conditions associated with porous sandstone layers. Here water percolates through acidic sand derived from Eocene strata (roughly 50 million years old), reaches an impenetrable layer beneath, and moves laterally, eventually seeping out to the surface as permanent springs, acidic seeps, and wetlands. Numerous other mesic species are disjunct to similar such wet microhabitats in otherwise rather dry inhospitable environments in c TX (see page 36). This species is extremely widespread, being known in both the New and Old Worlds. Its TX populations represent the extreme sw occurrence of the species in the continental U.S.

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