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The species of this family are mostly saprophytic.

[Summary yet to be added]

Lycopodium L.
Club Moss

450 species are found in tropical and temperate regions.

The spores form a fine yellowish powder formerly used for dusting pills, suppositories and rubber gloves. Granulomatous reactions in wounds can occur from its use for surgical gloves (Antopol 1933, Erb 1935). The inflammable powder can cause burns (Whitebread 1941). The powder used in powders, soaps and shampoos has been reported to cause dermatitis (Greenberg and Lester 1954).

Lycopodium clavatum L.
Running Clubmoss


Lycopodium complanatum L.
(syns Diphasiastrum complanatum Holub., Diphasium complanatum Rothm., Lepidotis complanata P.Beauv., Stachygynandrum complanatum C.Presl)
Christmas Green, Ground Cedar, Running Evergreen, Trailing Evergreen

Theatrical persons and pharmacists had hayfever from the powder (Salén 1951).


  • Antopol W (1933) Lycopodium granuloma. Its clinical and pathologic significance, together with a note on granuloma produced by talc. Archives of Pathology 16(3): 326-331
  • Erb IH (1935) Lycopodium granuloma. Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics 60: 40
  • Greenberg, L.A. and Lester, D. (1954) Handbook of Cosmetic Materials. New York, Interscience.
  • Salén, E.B. (1951) Lycopodium allergy. Acta Allergol. 4: 308.
  • Whitebread, C. (1941) Beware of Lycopodium. Am. Fern. J. 31: 100.

Richard J. Schmidt

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