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Species profile—Huperzia squarrosa (rock tassel fern)


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → LycopodiaceaeHuperzia squarrosa (rock tassel fern)

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Huperzia squarrosa (G.Forst.) Trevis.
Common name
rock tassel fern
WildNet taxon ID
Superseded by
Phlegmariurus squarrosus (water tassel-fern) (03/04/2019)
Alternate name(s)
water tassel fern
Conservation significant
Pest status
Huperzia squarrosa is an epiphytic (lives on another plant without deriving nutrients from it) or lithophytic (lives on rocks) tassel fern. The tufted branches are pendulous or erect, but arched to nodding towards the end. The branches may be undivided or branched one to several times and reach 30-75cm long. The sterile portion (lacking spores) of the branch is 1.5-3cm in diameter, including the leaves. The sterile leaves are spirally arranged around the stem, angled at 60-90 degrees and twisted near the base. They are thin but firm, linear to lance-shaped, 10-20mm long by 1.2mm wide, and pale green to yellowish-green coloured.
The transition from the sterile zone to the sporogenous zone (part of the plant bearing spores) is gradual. The sporogenous zone is 10-30cm long, 7-10mm in diameter and undivided or once-forked. The sporophylls (leaves bearing spores) are arranged in a whorl around the stem, overlapping and lying almost flat. They are linear to lance-shaped, 5-7mm long and 1.5-2mm wide, contracting above the base into a long upper portion. The spore cases occupy one-sixth of the sporophylls length. (Chinnock 1998; DEWHA 2008)
Huperzia squarrosa occurs on trees and rocks in lowland swamps and near waterways in rainforests, from near sea level to c. 1000m altitude. . (Chinnock 1998)
Threatening processes
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: 84.
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Huperzia squarrosa in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 03/10/2008.
Herbrecs (2008). Huperzia squarrosa, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 03/10/2008.
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