Club Mosses:


Lycopodiella inundata (L.) Bernh. Ex Schrank & Mart.                                               Marsh Clubmoss

[Lycopodium inundatum L.]                                                                                                                        ___________________________________________________________________________________

Light 9. Wetness 9. pH 1-2. Fertility 1.                                                                                                               Extinct

Native, on wet markedly acid, nutrient poor, badly aerated sometimes water saturated, often bare ground in well lit sites on heathland, expanding as short evergreen stems that undergo apoptosis at c.20cm from the apex, formerly scattered throughout Britain and Ireland, but now extinct in eastern England. Gibson had one vague record ‘near Epping’ and also recorded it from Messing Heath (which formerly occupied most of square 89,16). 

In 1910 it was found somewhere between Theydon and the Wake Arms area on an Essex Field Club meeting, frustratingly we are not told where. Essex Naturalist 16. 239. 1910-1912. It was later on introduced to one of the Wake Arms Bogs by Frances Rose in c.1951, but did not persist. It would appear that it has been extinct in the county for many years.



Lycopodium clavatum (L.)                                                                                     Stag’s-horn Clubmoss                                                                                                                                         ___________________________________________________________________________________

Light 7. Wetness 5. pH 1. Fertility 2.                                                                                                                 Extinct

Native, on very acid, infertile, moist, moderately aerated soils in open sites on heaths, mores and mountains. Formerly scattered throughout the British Isles, mainly concentrated  in the Scottish highlands and north Wales but early last century mysteriously disappeared from much of lowland Britain, probably due to a climatic change (or S02 pollution?). Resurgent colonization in southern England in the 1960s, then a second decline, probably due to drought.  

Recorded in Gibson’s Flora from two-three sites in Epping Forest attributed to Edward Foster c.1800; ‘near the King’s Oak' ; ‘near High Beach’ probably the same site (c.412,982). Although there are potentially suitable open areas on the beach today, the whole area is heavily trampled and has suffered severe droughts in recent decades. The other site ‘between Loughton and Epping’ is too vague to contemplate a site. A further site  reported by Buxton as ‘between Monk Wood and Cowper’s (Loughton) Camp’ would place it near the Clay Road at c.TQ419,977. Gibson also lists it from Ramsden Heath TQ71,95 attributing it to Alfred Greenwood; and ‘on a common south of Danbury’ to Jonathan Grubb (Danbury Common TL78,04+).

A patch was found in a small sand pit, overgrown with gorse and broom and supporting numerous fox and badger earths, in Bagshot Sands at Westlee Hall Farm, Langdon Hills, on an EFC meeting on 11 May 1929, by Laurence Harley et al. Essex Naturalist 22. 311. 1930. The plants had been seared by a grass fire but were still alive. This is most likely to have been the small pit at 686,886, now scrubbed over (teste Rodney Cole 2009). Dr D R Crofts also found it on Great Foxhill (‘Foxhills’) in Norsey Wood 686,952 in 1932, but it was destroyed by a gun emplacement during WW2.

Robert J Turner then turned it up on a disturbed gravelly bank at the western end of the Fingringhoe Wick N.R. gravel workings (TM043,194) in 1972. I was first shown it by Stan Jermyn in 1972; and in 1977 it was 'a large clump' with several cones; by 1981 the patch was c.2m2. Although encroaching scrub was cleared back from it several times, it eventually succumbed to drought due to the falling water table, (new gravel working to the north west) and by 1990 warden Laurie Forsyth pronounced the plants dead. Now extinct in Essex.


Selaginella kraussiana (Kunze) A. Braun                                                                 Krauss's Clubmoss                                                                                                                                                     ___________________________________________________________________________________


An alien 'Lesser Clubmoss' sometimes grown for ground cover in gardens. Introduced at some time to  Warley Place,  forming a patch just south of the walled garden, probably a relict from Ellen Willmott's time. Still present 2006.