New York Natural Heritage Program
Appalachian Firmoss
Huperzia appressa (Desv.) A. Löve & D. Löve
Huperzia appressa Tim Howard
Family: Club-moss Family (Lycopodiaceae)

State Protection: Rare
listed species have: 1) 20 to 35 extant sites, or 2) 3,000 to 5,000 individuals statewide.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3
A State Rarity Rank of S3 means: This plant is rare in New York (typically 21-50 populations, limited number of individuals, or limited range).

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: This species is demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Did you know?
Applachian Firmoss and its close relatives grow only a few inches high, but fossils dating from before the evolution of flowering plants (about 160 million years ago) have revealed that the ancestors of modern clubmoss species grew to the size of our modern-day trees.

Hybrids of Appalachian Firmoss with other closely related species are relatively common in certain parts of its range. This is probably the result of asexual propagules (gemmae) that help to maintain the hybrids even if the spores are not viable.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are 24 existing populations and 10 of these populations are considered to have good to excellent viability. There are 3 historical populations. One of the historical populations was searched for without success but there is more habitat to search at the site and more survey work is needed. All but a few populations are known from the high peaks region of the Adirondacks. The others are known from the Catskills. Many of the populations in the Adirondacks are threatened by trampling from hiker traffic.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]