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Species profile—Huperzia carinata (keeled tassel fern)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → LycopodiaceaeHuperzia carinata (keeled tassel fern)

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Huperzia carinata (Desv. ex Poir.) Trevis.
Common name
keeled tassel fern
WildNet taxon ID
Superseded by
Phlegmariurus carinatus (03/04/2019)
Alternate name(s)
keeled tassell fern
Conservation significant
Pest status
Huperzia carinata is an epiphytic tassel fern; it grows on another plant but does not derive nourishment from it. This fern normally grows to about 35cm in length, but it can reach 80cm. The stems are erect at first, becoming pendulous and usually branching into several 2-branched arms. The upper part of the stems is usually sterile, the lower part fertile.
The upper sterile portion is about 8-10cm in diameter, including the leaves. The leaves of the sterile portion are thick, leathery, stiff, closely overlapping, strongly keeled and folded along the midrib, narrowly egg-shaped in outline and measure about 10-13mm long by 2mm wide. The leaves make an angle of about 30 degrees with the stalk and are fused along the stem by the broad end of the leaf. The leaf margins are entire and the leaf tips are sharp.
The lower fertile portion of the stem is about 3mm in diameter. The fertile leaves flat lying, strongly keeled and folded along the midrib. They are egg-shaped in outline, measure 4mm long by 2.5mm wide and are fused along the stem by the broad end of the leaf. (Wang 1996; Chinnock 1998)
Huperzia carinata grows in rainforest and complex mesophyll vine forest along watercourses. It occurs in areas with soils derived from granite and at altitudes of up to 400m above sea level. (Wang 1996)
Threatening processes
Collecting and possibly cyclone damage in areas already depleted from over-collection.
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Contributors: Weslawa Misiak, 18/09/1998; Peter D. Bostock, Mellisa Mayhew 18/06/2009
Chinnock, R.J. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1998). Flora of Australia 48: 80.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Huperzia carinata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 01/10/2008.
Herbrecs (2008). Huperzia carinata, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 01/10/2008.
Wang, J. (1996). Huperzia carinata, in Species Management Manual. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Profile author
Peter Bostock (18/06/2009)

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