Huperzia selago

Tracheophyta LycopodiopsidaLycopodiaceaeHuperziaHuperzia selago


A semi-decumbent evergreen perennial herb found on acidic, nutrient-poor, sandy or peaty soils in grassland, heathland, blanket bog, montane communities and, rarely, sand quarry tips. Generally upland, but from sea level to 1310 m (Ben Nevis, Westerness, and Ben Macdui, S. Aberdeen).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane element.

© Pete Stroh

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1472

Height (cm): 10

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Comment on Clonality

Effectiveness of so-called bulbils may be low; not forming extensive clonal patches

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 989

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 234

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.41

Weighted Changed Factor: -12

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (1a)
Headley AD, Callaghan TV
1990.  Modular growth of Huperzia selago (Lycopodiaceae: Pteridophyta). Fern Gazette. 13:361-372.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
Bangerter EB, Cannon JFM, Jermy AC
1978.  Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Page CN
1997.  The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.