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Species profile—Huperzia filiformis (rat's tail tassel fern)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → LycopodiaceaeHuperzia filiformis (rat's tail tassel fern)

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Huperzia filiformis (Sw.) Holub
Common name
rat's tail tassel fern
WildNet taxon ID
Superseded by
Phlegmariurus filiformis (03/04/2019)
Conservation significant
Pest status
Huperzia filiformis is an epiphytic tassel fern; growing on another plant but not deriving nutrients from it. It has tufted, slender, pendulous branches that are forked one to several times and reach up to 120cm long. The sterile portion of the branch (including leaves) is 2-3mm in diameter. The leaves overlap, lying flat or spreading as they are densely, spirally arranged around the branches. The leaves are thick, narrowly triangular with minutely toothed margins, dark green and 3-4mm long by 1.5mm wide.
The transition from the sterile leaf zone to the sporogenous zone (part of the plant with leaves bearing spores) is gradual. The sporophylls (leaves bearing the spores) are ovate-triangular in shape, narrowing to a pointed tip, 2-3mm long by 0.5-1mm wide, overlapping and arranged in four rows. The spore-cases occupy half or less of the sporophylls length. (Chinnock 1998; DEWHA 2008)
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Huperzia filiformis occurs in rainforest on basalt soils, at altitudes up to 1200m above sea level. It has been recorded growing on slopes along creeks. (Chinnock 1998)
Threatening processes
Numbers originally much reduced by clearing and logging; illegal collecting is now considered primary threat.
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Contributors: Weslawa Misiak 10/09/1998; Peter Bostock, Mellisa Mayhew 16/02/2009
Chinnock, R.J. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1998). Flora of Australia 48: 82.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Huperzia filiformis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 01/10/2008.
Herbrecs (2008). Huperzia filiformis, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 01/10/2008.
Profile author
Peter Bostock (16/02/2009)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024