Robin Hood's hatband

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
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Plant name
Folk name Robin Hood's hatband
Binomial name Lycopodium clavatum
First recorded 1828
Used where Yorkshire, perhaps general in England


By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-12. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2022-05-23.

Common clubmoss, lycopodium clavatum, the most widespread species in the genus Lycopodium of the clubmoss family Lycopodiaceae, is also known as Robin Hood’s hatband. Other names for the plant include: vegetable sulphur, goat’s claw, stag’s horn (clubmoss), wolf claw, wolf's-foot (clubmoss), wolf-paw clubmoss, foxtail clubmoss, running clubmoss, running pine, ground pine, princess pine etc. It grows mainly along the ground, with spores up to 1 m long.

The name Robin Hood's hatband is recorded as early as 1828 in William Carr's dictionary of the dialect of the Craven district (formerly West Riding of Yorkshire, now North Yorkshire).[1] James Orchard Halliwell records the name in his 1847 Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words without indicating any specific are where it was used.[2] The name is probably of too general use to be characterized as a dialect word.


Brief mention