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Least Adder's Tongue Fern

Ophioglossum lusitanicum

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:
2 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Grassland, rocks, sea cliffs.
Flower:
There are no flowers. Ferns reproduce by means of spores rather than flowers.
Fruit:
The spores ripen in April.
Leaves:
Least Adder's Tongue Fern is an extremely small plant and difficult to spot. Not only that, it is extremely rare and within the British Isles it can only be found on the Scilly Isles. The height of the plant rarely exceeds 2cm tall and it grass-like leaf blades are less than 1cm wide. The plant is a winter annual meaning that it can only be found during the winter period. It is in leaf from October to May and is found on bare ground. Similar in appearance to Adder's Tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum) and Small Adder's Tongue (Ophioglossum azoricum) but with much narrower leaves.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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