Description: Terrestrial or epiphytic plants; rhizome naked, short-creeping or erect, sometimes tuberous; roots thick and fleshy.
Fronds simple or divided, one to several per plant, each composed of a common basal stalk, a sterile lamina and a fertile segment; sterile lamina simple, lobed or pinnately divided, veins free or reticulate; fertile segment spike-like and simple or pinnately divided, appearing to arise from the surface or base of the sterile lamina; vernation not circinate.
Sporangia globose, in two marginal rows, shortly stalked or embedded in the axis of the fertile segment, splitting horizontally or vertically; spores of one kind.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 genera, 55–100 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 3 genera, 10 species, all States.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Fronds with sterile lamina pinnatisect to 3-pinnate, veins of the lamina dichotomous and free; fertile segments pinnately divided, sporangia ± sessile along the axis||Botrychium|
|Fronds with sterile lamina simple or irregularly forked near the apex, veins of the lamina reticulate; fertile segments simple, sporangia embedded in the axis||Ophioglossum|