Ophioglossaceae - Adder's-tongue family

 

Description of the family

Terrestrial ferns, deciduous perennials, often clone forming by root proliferation. Rhizome spherical, subspherical or elongated, erect or creeping, subterranean; roots fleshy without roothairs. Fronds 1 or few, consisting of a simple, hairless sterile, slightly fleshy lamina and a simple or compound, fertile, linear, stalked spike. Sporangia sunken in the tissue on either side of the linear spike, large, thick-walled, dehiscing by a slit into 2 valves, exindusiate, homosporous.

Worldwide: 4 genera and 80 species, cosmopolitan.

 

Genera

  • Botrychium Sw.
  • Ophioglossum L.
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    Literature

  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.
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