A family of 3 genera and ca. 300 species, mainly tropical and subtropical. Within the lycophytes, Huperzia and related genera (Phlegmariurus and Phylloglossum) form a clade with “an isolated position”, sister to the remainder of the family, and warrant family rank as Huperziaceae (Haines 2003a). See discussion under Lycopodiaceae about family circumscriptions.
ID notes: The family Huperziaceae is recognized by being lycophytes -- vascular plants (larger than a moss and with a thicker stem), with numerous microphyll leaves, and with solitary sporangia borne in the axils of leaves (or embedded in the base of the leaf). Among lycophytes, the family is recognized by having dichotomously branching stems (Y-forked) borne in clusters, with many microphyll leaves less than 2 cm long, arrayed in an unranked pattern on the stem (not in rows along the length of the stem), and bearing ‘large’ (> 1 mm wide), kidney-shaped sporangia axillary to normally-sized leaves.
Ref: Beitel (1979); Chen et al. (2021); Haines (2003a); Lellinger (1985); Mickel (1979); Øllgaard (1987); Øllgaard (1987); Øllgaard & Windisch (2014); Øllgaard In Kramer & Green (1990); Øllgaard, Kessler, & Smith (2018); Snyder & Bruce (1986); Testo, Field, & Barrington (2018); Wagner & Beitel (1992); Wagner & Beitel (1992); Wikström & Kenrick (2000); Wikström & Kenrick (2001). Show full citations.