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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]

Common Adder's-tongue, Southern Adder's-tongue

Scientific Name:

Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]

Genus:

Ophioglossum

Species Epithet:

pycnostichum

Common Name:

Common Adder's-tongue, Southern Adder's-tongue

Plant Type

Fern/Clubmoss/Allies

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Ophioglossaceae (Adder's-Tongue Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Invasive Status:

(*Key)

Size:

0-1 ft.

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Bottomland forests, moist loamy soils of successional forests and old fields. Fairly common to frequent in the Piedmont and northwestern Coastal Plain, uncommon throughout the rest of the state.

Leaf Arrangement:

Basal

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Fern Frond

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Not Assigned

Landscape Value:

Not Assigned

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

Notes:

Produces spores from March to July. Difficult to grow, being highly susceptible to attack by fungi, slugs, etc.

Sterile leaf is oblong, blunt-tipped, smooth, succulent and bright green. Sporophyll is just emerging and will be on an erect stem about an inch high.

Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]. You will likely hear them called Common Adder's-tongue, Southern Adder's-tongue. This picture shows the Sterile leaf is oblong,  blunt-tipped, smooth, succulent and bright green. Sporophyll is just emerging and will be on an erect stem about an inch high. of Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]

Bettina Darveaux

Small patch of Adders-tongue fern growing in moist woods in early spring

Orange County, NC

The Scientific Name is Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]. You will likely hear them called Common Adder's-tongue, Southern Adder's-tongue. This picture shows the Small patch of Adders-tongue fern growing in moist woods in early spring of Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]

Bettina Darveaux

Ripe sporophore, with slots for the spores to be carried off by the wind

Forsyth County NC

The Scientific Name is Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]. You will likely hear them called Common Adder's-tongue, Southern Adder's-tongue. This picture shows the Ripe sporophore, with slots for the spores to be carried off by the wind of Ophioglossum pycnostichum [=Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum]

Lisa Lofland Gould

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record



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