Difference between Lycopodium and Selaginella

Selaginella and Lycopodium are pteridophytes with primitive plant bodies with adventitious roots, rhizophores, stems and leaves. They both belong to the same class – Lycopodiopsida. They reproduce by spores and do not produce seeds or flowers.


Lycopodium are clubmosses that belong to the Lycopodioideae family. The genus includes primitive vascular plants that produce no seeds or flowers. Most of them have erect, widely-branched or creeping stems. Their microphyll leaves are needle-like, and they closely cover the branches and stem.


They produce spores and show asexual reproduction. Also, they produce gametes in their sexual phase. The spore gives rise to prothallium that bears the male (antheridia) and female (archegonia) organs.


Selaginella are spikemosses that belong to the Selaginellaceae family. Most of them in this genus are creeping plants with scaly leaves. Their microphylls have branched vascular strands. Also, they have scaly projections called ligules.

They are heterosporous. Thus, they produce both microspores and megaspores. These plants show both sexual as well as vegetative reproduction.

Extended Reading: Selaginella

Difference between Lycopodium and Selaginella



They belong to the family Lycopodioideae.

They belong to the family Selaginellacea.

They are clubmosses.

They are spikemosses.

They have needle-like leaves.

They have scale-like leaves.

Their microphylls have a single unbranched vein.

Their microphylls have branched vascular strands.

They produce only one kind of spore (homosporous or isosporous).

They produce two distinct spores (heterosporous) – microspores and megapores.

Ligules are absent.

Their microphylls have ligules on their upper surface.

Examples – Lycopodium clavatum, Lycopodium japonicum.

Examples – Selaginella apoda, Selaginella biformis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are microphylls?

It is a type of leaf that has only one unbranched vein. Most of them have no leaf gaps (area above leaf node where vascular tissue is absent). Primitive plants like spikemosses, horsetail and clubmosses show microphyll leaves.

What are resurrection plants?

These plants can survive extreme desiccation (even for a year). They are poikilohydric plants that can tolerate extreme dehydration, and can also recover without any physiological damage. Some species of Selaginella are referred to as resurrection plants. Examples – Selaginella bryopteris, Selaginella lepidophylla.

Also see: Difference between Bryophytes and Pteridophytes

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more exciting topics

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Free Class