Diphasiastrum complanatum

Tracheophyta LycopodiopsidaLycopodiaceaeDiphasiastrumDiphasiastrum complanatum


An evergreen, procumbent perennial herb of heaths and moors, where it typically grows on well-drained, sandy, often skeletal soils in dwarf Calluna heath. In Scotland its sites are usually Calluna-Arctostaphylos heath. Between 270 m (Canisp, W. Sutherland) and 960 m (Lochnagar, S. Aberdeen).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreal-montane element, with a continental distribution in western Europe.

Broad Habitats

Dwarf shrub heath (cover of dwarf shrubs at least 25%)

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 1

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 1

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 12.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1465

Life form information

Height (cm): 8

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 10

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
Jermy AC
1989.  The history of Diphasiastrum issleri (Lycopodiaceae) in Britain and a review of its taxonomic status. Fern Gazette. 13:257-265.
Bangerter EB, Cannon JFM, Jermy AC
1978.  Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Page CN
1997.  The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.
Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.