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clubmoss from Siberia

  • Subject: [ferns] clubmoss from Siberia
  • From: Wim de Winter wim.dewinter@wur.nl
  • Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2006 00:24:01 +0200

I know it's just too hard to hard to identify a plant on-line, but I'll 
settle for just some suggestions...

I was asked to confirm the identity of a "Huperzia selago" from Siberia, 
in the taiga North of the Bajkal Lake. I don't think it's H. selago, but 
I've run out of alternatives. The plant differs from H. selago in the 
following characters:

- leaves so closely recurved that it took some time before I stopped 
holding it upside down
- leaf margins finely serrate
- stomata only abaxial
- leaves narrowly lanceolate with a clearly acuminate apex

further:
- no gemmae
- no sporangia
- growth stops every 4 cm
- leaf basis decurrent, not much narrowed
- midrib visible though indistinct

In fact it's not unlike H. lucidula.

I got a big, white spot in literature coverage for North Asia. From 
Brian Swale's list I picked up the following possibilities:

*Huperzia chinensis *(H. Christ) Ching; 
*Huperzia laxa *(Desv.) A. Khokhr. 
*Huperzia miyoshiana *(Makino) Ching;
*Huperzia petrovii *Siplivinsky;
*Huperzia selago *(L.) incl. ssp. arctica
*Huperzia serrata *(Thunb. ex Murray) Trevis.

The only one of these with non-entire leaf margins is H. serrata, but that one is 
irregularly dentate, has a clearly narrowed base, wider leaves and, at least my 
specimens from tropical Asia, has has leaves of wildly varying sizes. So it is also
illustrated in Tagawa. Of laxa I only got Nessel's description which is based on German
specimens so can't be right. Petrovii I cannot find, but from it's synonymy I gather
it's like H. selago ssp arctica.

The Indian H. herteriana resembles it in the reflexed leaves, but according to Dixit that 
one has a distinct midrib and a margin that's subentire to irregularly denticulate and does 
not have an acuminate apex.

Anyone daring to call a name?

Wim

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