Shoots erect, indeterminate, 14--20(--100) cm, becoming long-decumbent, with long, trailing, senescent portion turning brown; juvenile and mature portions similar with strong annual constrictions due to formation of winter bud; juvenile growth erect. Leaves spreading to reflexed, dark green, lustrous; largest leaves narrowly obovate, leaves broadest at or above middle, 7--11 mm, margins papillate, teeth 1--8, irregular, large; smallest leaves (at annual constrictions) narrowly lanceolate, 3--6 mm; stomates on abaxial surface only. Gemmiferous branchlets produced in 1 pseudowhorl at end of each annual growth cycle; gemmae 4--6 X 3--6 mm, lateral leaves 1.5--2.5 mm wide, broadly obtuse with distinct mucro. Spores 23--29 µm. 2 n = 134. Terrestrial in shaded conifer forests and mixed hardwoods, rarely on rock on shady mossy acidic sandstone; 0--1800 m; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Man., N.B., Nfld., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis. Huperzia × bartleyi (Cusick) Kartesz & Gandhi, a sterile hybrid between H . lucidula and H . porophila , occurs throughout the range of H . porophila and is discussed under that species. Huperzia × buttersii (Abbe) Kartesz & Gandhi is a hybrid between H. lucidula and H. selago .
Stems lax, with ±elongate, rooting, leafy base and ascending branches to 25 cm, 1.5-2 mm thick (excl. lvs); lvs mostly 6-ranked, spreading or reflexed, shining, oblanceolate, usually toothed above the middle, lacking stomates on the upper surface, unequal in length so that the shoot looks ragged, the early lvs of the season the shortest and commonly subtending sporangia, the later ones mostly 7-12(-15) נ1.2-2+ mm; spores 20-30 microns in diameter; otherwise much like no. 1 [Lycopodium selago L.]; high polyploid, 2n=134. Wet woods and rocks in acid soil; Nf. to Ont. and Minn., s. to S.C., n. Ga., n. Ala., and nw. Ark. (Huperzia l.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.