Diphasiastrum alpinum
Alpine clubmoss

Key Characteristics

Small clubmoss (15 cm) of dry northern coniferous forests; resembling a dwarf pine or juniper, with tiny scale-like overlapping leaves, underside leaves trowel-shaped, contracted at the base with flared and rolled blades; strobili not stalked, borne on terminal shoots.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G5


No known occurrences in Michigan

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


The only known Michigan collection is from the Keweenaw Peninsula around the turn of the century. In the heart of its range in the northwest and in the northeastern Canadian provinces, it is known from dry conifer and mixed forests as well as grassy mountain slopes.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No data exists on associated species in Michigan.


Little is known of the biology and ecology of this species, though it may benefit from moderate levels of disturbance that creates and maintains small openings and colonization sites.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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