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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Donald R. Farrar, except as noted

Perennial herb, small, fleshy, generally glabrous; caudex generally underground, unbranched; roots glabrous with bulblets or plantlets or not. Leaf: generally 1 per caudex per year, divided into 2 facing parts with a common stalk,(0)1 sterile and 1(2) fertile (fertile occasionally aborted); sterile photosynthetic part (trophophore) separated from spore-bearing part (sporophore) at to well above ground level; trophophore simple to compound, veins free and forked or netted with included veinlets; sporophore simple to compound, or 0 in young plants. Sporangia: dehiscent into 2 valves, ± 1 mm wide, thick-walled.
10 genera, 80–100 species: ± worldwide, generally rare or overlooked. [Hauk et al. 2003 Molec Phylogen Evol 28:131–151; Kato 1987 Gard Bull Straits Settlem 40:1–14] —Scientific Editors: Alan R. Smith, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged note: Distantly related to most (leptosporangiate) ferns. Haploid (gametophyte) generation underground. Both diploid and haploid generations obligately mycorrhizal. The family Psilotaceae (whisk ferns, 2 genera), sister to Ophioglossaceae, is represented in California (South Coast) by 1 (of 2 total) apparently introduced species, Psilotum nudum (L.) P. Beauv. Psilotum is easily distinguished by the dichotomously branching, almost leafless green stems, lack of roots, and large (2–3 mm) 3-lobed sporangia; sporangia are borne on the adaxial (upper) side of a minute (± 1 mm) forked leaf. Pantrop, subtrop (nearest native populations in Arizona and in Sonora, Mexico); expected in cultivation areas, especially at bases of old palms, possibly brought in on root masses as subterranean gametophytes. [Pryer et al. 2004 Amer J Bot 91:1582–1598]

Key to Ophioglossaceae

1. Trophophore simple, entire, not midribbed, veins netted with included veinlets; sporangia sunken in simple axis of sporophore ..... OPHIOGLOSSUM

1' Trophophore generally compound (small, simple, entire or 0), generally midribbed, veins free, forked; sporangia sessile or short-stalked, not sunken, in generally pinnately branched sporophore

2. Leaf bud glabrous, trophophore generally < 10 cm wide, generally 1–2-pinnate (0) ..... BOTRYCHIUM

2' Leaf bud hairy, trophophore generally > 10 cm wide, generally 2–4-pinnate

3. Leaf deciduous, sporophore and trophophore joined well above ground level; trophophore sessile, blade thin, membranaceous ..... BOTRYPUS

3' Leaf evergreen for 1 year, sporophore and trophophore joined at to slightly below ground level; trophophore stalked, blade thick, leathery ..... SCEPTRIDIUM


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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