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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1062. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/5/2009)


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2. Ophioglossum L. (adder's tongue)

Vegetative portion of the leaf simple, sessile or short-stalked, lanceolate to ovate in outline, the base wedge-shaped to cordate, sheathing the stalk of the fertile spike, the veins branched, copiously anastomosing. Fertile portion of the leaf an erect, long-stalked spike, the sporangia sunken into the axis of the spike, in 2 rows on opposite sides. Twenty-five to 30 species, nearly worldwide.

The species of Ophioglossum are probably more widespread in Missouri than present records indicate, as the plants are relatively inconspicuous and the leaves are only visible for a few months each year. The genus contains the highest chromosome numbers of the vascular plants (see O. vulgatum, below).


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1.Stems globose, cormlike
Ophioglossum crotalophoroides
1.Stems short-cylindrical, sometimes slightly thickened
2.Principal veins forming areoles that enclose thinner, anastomosing veins; sterile portion of the leaf often somewhat folded lengthwise, usually sharply pointed at the tip
Ophioglossum engelmannii
2.Veins all about the same thickness, forming a simple network, the areoles not enclosing thinner networks of veins; sterile portion of the leaf flat or somewhat concave, not folded, not sharply pointed at the tip
3.Leaves mostly 2–4 per stem, the tips of the sterile portions acute
Ophioglossum petiolatum
3.Leaves usually 1 per stem, the tips of the fertile portions rounded
Ophioglossum vulgatum
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