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Adder's Tongue Fern

Ophioglossum vulgatum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Order:
Ophioglossales
Family:
Ophioglossaceae (Adder's-tongue)
Type:
Fern
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
25 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Grassland, meadows, sand dunes.
Flower:
Ferns do not flower, however the plant has a green spike which is similar looking to a plantain flower. The spike contains spores which are the reproductive parts of the fern.
Fruit:
The spores of this fern mature from May to August.
Leaves:
Adder's Tongue Fern is a deciduous fern that can be seen any time between May and November in the UK. The leaf blades are without spores, instead the spores appear on top of an erect spike which emerges from the plant below.
Other Names:
Adder's-tongue.
Frequency (UK):
Common  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map