Scientific Name:
Lycopodium deuterodensum Herter, Index Lycopod. 15 (1949)
  • Lycopodium densum Labill., Nov. Holl. Pl. 2, 104, t. 251, f.1 (1807) nom. illeg., non Lycopodium densum Lam. 1778
  • Lepidotis densa Rothm., Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 54: 67 (1944) nom. nov. pro Lycopodium densum Labill. 1807
  • Pseudolycopodium densum (Rothm.) Holub, Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 18: 442 (1983)
Lectotype (designated by Øllgaard 1989): Terra Van Diemen [Tasmania], Herb. Webbianum ex Herb. Labillardière, FI 004231 (!online)
From the Latin deuter- (second) and densum (compact, condensed), an indication that deuterodensum is a replacement name for Labillardière’s original epithet densum, which reflected the habit of the species.
Vernacular Name(s):

Horizontal stems dichotomously branching, subterranean, 1–4 mm diameter, bearing roots at intervals; leaves colourless, imbricate, appressed, narrowly ovate, adnate. Aerial stems, erect, branching monopodial, glabrous; longest fertile stems 150–1900 mm tall, 40–280 mm wide; unbranched portion of stem 25–750 mm long, branched portion 110–1650 mm long. Branches either horizontal, curling upwards or erect. Sterile leaves monomorphic, spirally arranged, dull green or orange-brown, often black-tipped especially on unbranched portions of stems; leaves on unbranched portion of aerial stems appressed, narrowly ovate to ovate, apices long acuminate, margins ciliate and membranous, bases adnate, 3–6 mm long, 0.8–1.3 mm wide; leaves on fertile aerial branches appressed, narrowly ovate, apices acuminate, margins entire or minutely ciliate, bases adnate, 1.7–3.0 mm long, 0.4–0.6 mm wide; leaves on juvenile aerial branches often spreading and larger than on mature branches. Sporophylls appressed when young, spreading at maturity, ovate to broadly ovate, apices acute or acuminate, margins ciliate and membranous, bases adnate to subpeltate, 2–3 mm long, 1–2 mm wide, aggregated into strobili. Strobili solitary or occasionally paired, terminal on branches, erect or ascending, sessile, yellow to yellow-brown, 3–40 mm long, 2.5–7 mm wide.


Lycopodium deuterodensum is recognised by its dendroid aerial stems, which arise from subterranean horizontal stems; its ultimate branches, which are either erect or curl upwards; and its strobili, which are erect or ascending. On mature stems the sterile leaves are appressed, but juvenile stems sometimes have spreading leaves.


North Island: Northland, Auckland, Volcanic Plateau, Gisborne, Taranaki.

Chatham Islands.

Altitudinal range:  0–1050 m.

Lycopodium deuterodensum occurs in coastal and lowland sites from Te Paki to East Cape and inland Taranaki, extending locally into montane areas. It grows from near sea-level up to about 1050 m on Mt Tihia and Mt Pihanga, south of Lake Taupō. It has been collected on the Chatham Islands (WELT P003684, P004311; not recorded by de Lange et al. 2011), and may now be extinct there.

Also Australia (South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania) and New Caledonia.


Lycopodium deuterodensum grows most commonly as a terrestrial species in mānuka and kānuka scrub, but also occurs under kauri and broadleaved forest, and on gumland, stabilised dunes, podsols or clay soils. It often grows in extensive colonies, either on swampy ground or under dry scrub. It is occasionally found in Eucalyptus plantations.

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
Brownsey, P.J.; Given, D.R.; Lovis, J.D. 1985: A revised classification of New Zealand pteridophytes with a synonymic checklist of species. New Zealand Journal of Botany 23(3): 431–489.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2020: Lycopodiaceae. In: Breitwieser, I.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 27. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Rolfe, J.R. 2011: Checklist of vascular plants recorded from Chathams Islands. Department of Conservation, Wellington Hawke's Bay Conservancy.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Herter, W.G.F. 1949: Index Lycopodiorum. Herbarium Herter, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Holub, J. 1983: Validation of generic names in Lycopodiaceae: with a description of a new genus Pseudolycopodiella. Folia Geobotanica et Phytotaxonomica 18: 439–442.
Labillardière, J.J.H. de 1806–1807: Novae Hollandiae Plantarum Specimen. Vol. 2. Huzard, Paris.
Murray, B.G.; de Lange, P.J. 2013: Contributions to a chromosome atlas of the New Zealand flora – 40. Miscellaneous counts for 36 families. New Zealand Journal of Botany 51: 31–60.
Øllgaard, B. 1989: Index of the Lycopodiaceae. Biologiske Skrifter 34: 1–135.
Rothmaler, W. 1944: Pteridophyten-Studien, I. Feddes Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 54: 55–82.