Fan clubmoss is not a flowering species but worthy of mentioning because of its frequency in pine-oak forests in Hickory Nut Gorge. Fan clubmoss is in the Clubmoss Family of lower vascular plants. It produces cone-like structures called strobili which bear the reproductive spores. Formerly named Lycopodium, the spores were (according to legend) used as a primitive flash powder that was mixed with black powder to extend Confederate powder stores during the Union blockade of the Civil War. Lycopodium spores are used today in magic shows and demonstrations because of their quick flash flammability. Look for it in large quantities at the Donald Ross Trail Park in Lake Lure.
Growing within swampy areas and surrounding slopes.
Scrambling over Coprosma robusta.
Lycopodiopsida is a class of plants often loosely grouped as the fern allies. Traditionally the group included not only the clubmosses and firmosses, but also the spikemosses (Selaginella and relatives) and the quillworts (Isoetes and relatives). However, the latter are now usually separated off into a separate class, Isoetopsida.