One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A club moss, especially a lycopodium. Giant lycopods the size of trees were common in the Carboniferous period.
Class Lycopsida: several families
- ‘Coal forests of giant lycopods, calamites, pteridophytes and ferns cover the tropical landmasses.’
- ‘Like the lycopod trees, these woody calamites scarcely survived the ‘Age of Coal’, and by the mid-Permian they were extinct.’
- ‘The largest of these primitive ‘trees’ were giant lycopods reaching upwards of 20 meters, but most of the plants grew to less than a meter above the ground.’
- ‘The earliest of the vascular plants are the pteridophytes and lycopods.’
- ‘The great lycopod and cordaite trees of the Carboniferous and Permian were long gone, although smaller lycopods survived.’
Mid 19th century: anglicized form of lycopodium.
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