Herb: Ground Pine
Latin name: Lycopodium obscurum
Family: Lycopodiaceae (Club-moss Family)
Medicinal use of Ground Pine:The plant is analgesic, antispasmodic, blood tonic, diuretic and tonic. A decoction has been used as a herbal steam in the treatment of rheumatism. The spores of this plant are dusted on wounds or inhaled to stop bleeding noses. They can also be used to absorb fluids from injured tissues. The spores can be used as a dusting powder to prevent pills sticking together.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist woodlands. Rich hardwood forests and successional shrubby areas from sea level to 1600 metres.
Other uses of Ground Pine:The following uses are for L. clavatum. They quite possibly also apply to this species. The spores are water repellent and can be used as a dusting powder to stop things sticking together. They are also used as a talcum powder and for dressing moulds in iron foundries. They can also be used as explosives in fireworks and for artificial lightning. The plant can be used as a mordant in dyeing. The stems are made into matting.
Propagation of the herb:Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old and then only in a very well sheltered position. The spores are generally produced in abundance but are difficult to grow successfully. Layering of growing tips.
Cultivation of Ground Pine:Moist woodlands. Rich hardwood forests and successional shrubby areas from sea level to 1600 metres.
Known hazards of Lycopodium obscurum:The plant contains lycopodine, which is poisonous by paralysing the motor nerves. It also contains clavatine which is toxic to many mammals. The spores, however, are not toxic.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.