Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research

Ophioglossum reticulatum L., 1753

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Filicophyta
Class:Pteridopsida
Order:Ophioglossales
Family:Ophioglossaceae
Genus:Ophioglossum
Species:O. reticulatum
Common Names:Adder's Tongue Fern
Status:Common

Description

This is a small terrestrial erect fern of up to 40 cm high. The roots are fleshy, rhizome cylindrical to subglobose, sometimes stoloniferous, giving rise to small colonies of plants. There are usually one to a few simple, ovate to lanceolate fronds with a stalk of 2-16 cm long and the lamina 1-8 x 0.5-5 cm. The base of the frond is attenuate to cordate, margin entire and apex acuminate to obtuse. The fertile spike arises from the lamina base, having a 1-20 cm long stalk and ending in a spike of 5-6 cm long. There are 20-45 sporangia pairs in two rows sunken in the fleshy spike.

Read more about the Ophioglossales order.
Read more about the Ophioglossaceae family.

Distribution

Throughout the tropics and subtropics.

Locality Map

Life Cycle

For an account of the life history of a fern, see Pyrrosia piloselloides. As with other Ophioglossum spp., the gametophyte is tuberous and non-green, requiring a mycorrhizal fungus for its growth. Development may take years before the gametophyte completes its cycle.

Human Uses

The Indonesians regularly eat the fern as a vegetable - fresh as a salad or cooked, alone or mixed with other vegetables. In the Philippines it is used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling substance. The plants are also boiled in oil to treat wounds.

References

de Winter, W. P. & V. B. Amoroso (eds.), 2003. Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 15(2). Cryptogams: Ferns and fern allies. Prosea Foundation, Borgor, Indonesia. 268 pp.

Holttum, R. E., 1966. A revised flora of Malaya. II Ferns of Malaya. Govt. Printing Office, Singapore (2nd ed.). 653 pp.

Parris, B. S., R. Khew, R. C. K. Chung, L. G. Saw & E. Soepadmo (eds.), 2010. Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Series I: Ferns and Lycophytes. Vol. 1. Malayan Forest records No. 48. Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Kepong. 249 pp.

Wee, Y. C., 2005. Ferns of the tropics. Times Editions-Marshall Cavendish, Singapore. 2nd ed. 190 pp.

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  • Ophioglossum reticulatum
    Wee Yeow Chin

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    Aug 1987
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    Wee Yeow Chin

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    Aug 1987
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    Wee Yeow Chin

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    Dec 1989
  • Ophioglossum reticulatum
    Wee Yeow Chin
    1985
  • Ophioglossum reticulatum
    Wee Yeow Chin
    1986
  • Ophioglossum reticulatum
    Wee Yeow Chin
    1986

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