Lycopodium phlegmaria L., What can you tell me?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by photopro, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    This specimen of the fern Lycopodium phlegmaria L. is now living as an epiphyte from the artificial rain forest epiphyte tree in my atrium. I know the synonyms of the plant include Lepidotis phlegmaria, Phlegmariurus phlegmaria, Phlegmariurus phlegmaria, Urostachys phlegmaria

    On the Missouri Botanical Garden plant documentation site TROPICOS, Lycopodium phlegmaria is reported to have been collected in the United Republic of Malawi, Madagascar, Thailand, Papau New Guianea, and New Caladonia. Collectors from the Malaysian peninsula have also reported collections in their region. An epiphytic fern species found growing from the branches of trees is about all I can learn. I know it does not like bright light. The species is unusually braided with the vine portion braided like very tight twine.

    What can you tell me about it? Does anyone have the scientific documentation of this species?

    The flowers are a neighboring orchid.

    Thanks!,
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Michael! This plant came with another one that looks very similar to the link you posted. Both were tagged but it is certainly possible the tags may have been switched by the collector who gave them to me. Also interesting about it being a club moss rather than a fern.

    The more I try to learn, the more I find there is to learn! And I know next to nothng about ferns! I'll try to get a photo of the second later in the day, once the sun comes out, and see if we can figure out which is which!

    Thanks!
     
  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    If anyone has a suggested possible species name for the intertwined club moss species in my photos in the original post, please post it. I've already learned a great deal as a result of Michael correcting me and pointing out this is a club moss rather than a fern.

    It has been raining and hailing all day here so I don't have adequate light to photograph the second specimen just yet. But as quickly as I can I want to try to learn the identity of both of these specimens.
     
  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Michael, does this appear to be Huperzia phlegmaria (L.) Rothm.?

    Thanks!
     

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  6. greenthumb7

    greenthumb7 Member

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    Huperzia is a name given to Lyco's,not sure if its the old or new name, and yes they are in the club moss family. The nummularia (sp?) is the braided looking one and the phlegmaria, is known as the tassel fern.
     
  7. greenthumb7

    greenthumb7 Member

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    The middle pict is the sp. nummumularia
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That one certainly looks a lot more like the online pics I found. Though I should mention I've not seen the species in person before, so can't claim any useful experience of it.
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'm going to begin to work up a page but will send it to a botanist familiar with this group for comments before posting it to the net.
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Michael, can you check Lycopodium nummularifolium Blume on your sources and see if it is a currently accepted basionym for the second set of photos above?
     
  11. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I've got the page on Huperzia phlegmaria (L.) Rothm. about complete. Dr. Croat has recommended I try to contact Benjamin Ollgaard from Aarhus University since he is a specialist in club mosses. I am unable to locate an email address so if anyone has contact information, I'd sincerely appreciate the help. Dr. Croat also wishes to contact him as well since they are apparently old friends.

    http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Huperzia phlegmaria pc.html

    If you see any glaring errors, please point them out! As always, my goal is to be scientifically accurate but make it understandable to any collector. The page has been reviewed by a collector expert but I'd really like to have it reviewed by a botanist who has worked with these species. This link has not been published to the web so you'll only be able to find it here until I can get the information verified.
     
  12. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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  13. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much!
     
  14. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  15. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Wow! More to read. Thanks!
     
  16. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    This morning I received a response to my request to Dr. Moran at the New York Botanical Garden for verification of the two names of the club mosses I posted. This was Dr. Moran's response:

    Dear Steve,

    I agree that the plant on your web site is correctly identified as Huperzia phlegmaria. The one in the attached images you sent is H. nummulariifolia (Blume) Chambers, Jermy & Crabbe. Its wide elliptic leaves, appressed to the stem, are unique within the genus, as far as I know. Both are Old World species, and my expertise is primarily on New World tropical ferns, so I don’t have any interesting stories to tell you about them--sorry! I do, however, have two books that might help you in the future with information for your web site. One is about fern cultivation: Fern Grower’s Manual (with first author Barabara Joe Hoshizaki) and the other is A Natural History of Ferns (Timber Press, 2004). The latter is a popular (i.e., non-technical) book about ferns and lycophytes. It is not an identification guide, but tells about what ferns are doing in nature. Many of the things you mention on your web page for H. phlegmaria are also discussed in that book.

    Good luck with your web site!

    Best wishes,
    Robbin

    Robbin C. Moran, Ph.D.
    Curator of Ferns
    The New York Botanical Garden


    When I went back to check the name Huperzia nummulariifolia as provided by Dr. Moran I ran into a series of blockades. I again checked both TROPICOS and the International Plant Names Index and could not completely verify that name. As a result, I've forwarded a second message which I've attached. Hopefully I will soon be able to resolve this and be able to accurately post a new page with the correct identification and scientific information. Since Dr. Moran is a recognized authority I certainly will follow his lead. But for the sake of accuracy I always at least attempt to track down the base name.

    This is my follow up message:


    Dr. Moran, I am unable to locate anything with this exact spelling on TROPICOS as
    Huperzia nummulariifolia (Blume) Chambers, Jeremy & Crabbe. I can only locate Lycopodium nummularifolium Blume as a basionym.

    However, on the IPNI I found this. It too appears to indicate the basionym is Lycopodium nummulariifolium Blume:
    Lycopodiaceae Huperzia nummulariifolia ( Blume ) Jermy in T.Chambers , Jermy & Crabbe
    Brit. Fern Gaz. 10: 176. 1971. 1971
    basionym: Lycopodium nummulariifolium Blume
    basionym: Lycopodium nummulariifolium Blume Blume
    Is it possible the basionym is truly Lycopodium nummulariifolium Blume? I do everything possible to verify every name I publish and certainly would not wish to cause any embarrassment if I get this wrong. If there is more recent data can you point me to a source?

    Thanks again!

    Steve Lucas
    www.ExoticRainforest.com



    As a result, The first page I posted is now confirmed to be accurate. I'm still uncertain of the club moss that is intertwined.
     
  17. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    This message just came back from Dr. Moran,

    Dear Steve,

    You are correct: the basionym is Lycopodium nummulariifolium Blume. I suggest using Huperzia because that is being done by most pteridologists these days. Huperzia differs from the other Lycopodium segregates most conspicuously by its equally forked branches.

    Best wishes,
    Robbin

    Robbin C. Moran
    The New York Botanical Garden
    200th Street & Southern Blvd.
    Bronx, NY 10458-5126 U.S.A..



    So it would appear that to science, the correct basionym (base name) for the plant in the photo attached is Lycopodium nummulariifolium Blume
     

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