Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Rock Firmoss - Huperzia porophila   (Lloyd & Underwood) Holub
Members of Huperzia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 1 » Order Lycopodiales » Family Huperziaceae
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Author(Lloyd & Underwood) Holub
DistributionPrimarily found in the southern mountains, in counties bordering GA and SC. Also a report for Ashe County in the northern mountains.

This species has a fragmented Eastern range, occurring in somewhat disjunct regions from PA and MN south to northwestern SC, northeastern GA, and northern AL.
AbundanceLocally uncommon to infrequent in the Gorges region from southeastern Macon to western Transylvania counties. Rare farther eastward to Rutherford County, and very rare northward, known from a single mountain in Ashe County. This is a Significantly Rare species.
HabitatThis is a rock-inhabiting species, found essentially on shaded and cool cliffs and crevices in the lower to middle elevations -- usually in the spray zone of waterfalls or where seepage is present on the rocks.
See also Habitat Account for Montane Mesic Rock Faces and Crevices
PhenologyFruits from June to August.
IdentificationThis is an evergreen firmoss/clubmoss of damp and usually shaded cliffs and outcrops. It has mostly erect branches reaching about 6 inches tall, with densely packed, small, lanceolate leaves in 8 ranks on the branches. This species has the leaves spreading, as opposed to strongly ascending in H. appressa, such that the stem/branch is clearly visible between the leaves. The leaves are also a duller green and not shiny as in that high elevation species, which is usually found on dry and exposed rock at high elevations (mostly over 4000 feet). H. lucidula has spreading leaves, but they are shiny and dark green, and it grows in soil within shaded forests.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species has in older texts been named Lycopodium porophilum.

Other Common Name(s)Rock Clubmoss. Species in the genus Huperzia are coming to now be known as "xxxxx Firmoss", to distinguish them from "xxxx Clubmoss" of other species formerly in the large genus Lycopodium. References are split on now using the "new" Rock Firmoss and the older Rock Clubmoss.
State RankS2
Global RankG4
State StatusSR-P
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