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Genus Ophioglossum Family Ophioglossaceae

Description: Terrestrial or epiphytic plants, arising from an erect or short-creeping rhizome.

Fronds one or more per plant, erect or pendent, the common basal stalk relatively short; sterile lamina simple, undivided or irregularly forked towards the apex, veins reticulate.

Fertile part ('spike') simple, solitary and borne on a short to long stalk; sporangia large, in two rows, embedded in the axis, coalescent, dehiscing horizontally.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 30 species, widespread. Australia: c. 7 species, all States.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Fronds with demarcation between the sterile lamina and the common stalk clear-cut; sterile lamina not, or barely, fused to the fertile stalk; terrestrial plants (subgenus Ophioglossum)2
Fronds with demarcation between the sterile lamina and the common stalk not clear, lamina grading into the common stalk; sterile lamina conspicuously fused to the fertile stalk (subgenus Ophioderma)Ophioglossum pendulum
2Stipe bases persistent and forming a brown, papery sheathOphioglossum polyphyllum
Stipe bases not persistent and sheathing; rhizome short, roots few, fleshy
                       Back to 1
3Sterile lamina membranous; primary reticulations readily visible, veins within the primary reticulations less conspicuousOphioglossum reticulatum
Sterile lamina fleshy, veins somewhat indistinct; veins within the primary reticulations equally conspicuous
                       Back to 2
Ophioglossum lusitanicum

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