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Family Lycopodiaceae
Keeled clubmoss
Huperzia carinata (Desv. ex Poir.) Trevis

Scientific names Common names
Huperzia carinata (Desv. ex Poir.) Trevis.. Keeled clubmoss (Engl.)
Lycopodium carinatum Desv. ex Poir. Keeled tassel fern (Engl.)
Phlegmariurus carinatus (Desv. ex Poir.) Ching  
Urostachys carinatus (Desv. ex Poir.) Herter ex Nessel  
Huperzia carinata (Desv. ex Poir.) Trevis. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDONESIAN: Kumpai lubang.
THAI: Hang nu Hang pia check, Soi nari.

Gen info
- Huperzia is the largest genus in the Lycopodiaceae family, comprising about 300 species, which are difficult to distinguish because of wide plasticity of the characteristics. (5)

Huperzia carinata is a variable, epiphytic herb, with long, lax, pendulous branches; the narrower forms, slender and snake-like. Roots usually form one basal tuft. Stem is initially erect, becoming pendulous 35 to 50 centimeters by 7-15 millimeters, 1 to 4 times dichotomously branched, pale green. Leaves are subapproximate, spirally whorled in 6 to 8 rows, ascending, sessile; margins entire, apex acute, gray-green to yellowish-green, subcoriaceous, midrib distinct, keeled.. Strobili is terminal, cylindrical, 4 to 8 centimeters by 2.5 to 4 millimeters, distinctly demarcated from the vegetative parts of the stem, no branched. Sporophylls are in four rows, ovate to oblong-subdeltoid, 4 to 5 millimeters long, as broad as the sterile leaves, sharply keeled, acuminate, rather appressed. Sporangium borne at the base of the sporophyll, sessile, reniform, smooth, yellow. Spores are triangular, trilete, 40 µm in diameter, granulated. (5)

- In the Philippines, found in primary forests.
- Occasionally, cultivated in gardens.
- Grows naturally in tropical Asia (including South-East Asia), the Ryuk islands, Taiwan, Polynesia and Australia.

- Study isolated three new Lycopodium alkaloids, carinatumins A-C (1-3) from the club moss, Lycopodium carinatum. (see study below) (2)
- Study of dried and powdered methanol extract of L. carinatum and fraction yielded new lycopodine-type alkaloids, lycopocarinamines A-F. (3)
- A methanol extract of H. carinata yielded 8,15-dihydrohuperzine A (2) and lycocarinatine A (3), along with nine known alkaloids including huperzine A (1), 12-epilycodine N-oxide (3), lycodoline (5), gnidioidine (6), lycoposerramin K (7), fawcettimine (8), and phlegmariurine B (9). ( see study below) (6)

- Studies have suggest cholinesterase inhibiting and memory enhancing properties.


- In South-East Asia, whole plant extract or ointment formulation used for washing the hair to stimulate hair growth. (5)
- Ornamental: Usually grown as an ornamental; suitable for hanging baskets.

Carinatumins / Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition:
Study of club moss, Lycopodium carinatum isolated three new Lycopodium alkaloids, carinatumins A-C (1-3). Carinatumins A (1) and B (2) exhibited potent inhibitory activity against acetylcholinesterase. (2)
Huperzine A / Anticholinesterase: Studies have isolated chemical compounds huperzine A, lycodoline, lucidioline and lycopodine from H. carinata. Huperine A has demonstrated anticholinesterase activity and has shown effects in behavior tests appraising animal learning and improving memory function in humans. It has been approved by the Chinese Community for treatment of senile dementia and age-related memory impairment. (5)
Alkaloids / Anticholinesterase Activity: Study of a methanol extract yielded - A methanol extract of 8,15-dihydrohuperzine A (2) and lycocarinatine A (3), along with nine known alkaloids. 12-=Epilycodine N-oxide (4), 8,15-dihydrohuperzine A (2), and gnidioidine (6) showed the most potent inhibitory activity against AChE with IC50s of 0.591, 2.626, and 3.442 µM, respectively. (see constituents above) (6)


August 2020

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Huperzia carinata / © Cheng-Wei CHEN / click on image to go to source page / Flora of Solomon Islands
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Keeled clubmoss: Huperzia carinata / © Geral McCormack / Cook Islands Biodiversity Database / Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust , Rarotonga / click on image to go to source page / Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Huperzia carinata / Synonyms / The Plant List
Carinatumins A-C, new alkaloids from Lycopodium carinatum inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. / Choo CY, Hirasawa Y, Karimata C, Koyama K, Sekiguchi M, Kobayashi J, Morita H / Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry15 Dec 2006; 15(4): pp 1703-1707 / DOI: 10.1016/j.bmc.2006.12.005 /  PMID: 17188496
New Lycopodine-Type Alkaloids from Lycopodium carinatum / Noriyuki Kogure, Moe Maruyama, Sumphan Wongseripipatana, Mariko Kitajima, and Hiromitsu Takayama / Chem. Pharm. Bull., 2016; 64: pp 793–799
Huperzine alkaloids from Australasian and southeast Asian Huperzia / Wei-Han Lim, Jason Q.D. Goodger, Ashley R. Field, Joseph A.M. Holtum, and Ian E. Woodrow / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2010; 48(9): pp 1073–1078
Huperzia carinata (PROSEA) / Plant Resources of South-East Asia /Pl@ntUse
Three new Lycopodium alkaloids from Huperzia carinata and Huperzia squarrosa / Sakornrat Thorroad, Prateep Worawittayanont et al / Tetrahedron, 2014; 70: pp 8017-8022

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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