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Huperzia is one of the four genera of lycophytes recognized by Wikström (2001). The genus includes 300 to 400 species (i.e., the bulk of lycophyte species), the majority of them growing as epiphytes in low- to mid-altitude montane rain forests of South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, or as ground dwellers in open habitats of the upper montane neotropical rain forests and high altitude alpine vegetation of the Andes. Around 85 to 90% of all living Huperzia species (all species groups except the H. selago group) are included in a tropical epiphytic clade. (Wikström 2001)

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