Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Warren H. Wagner, Jr.

Perennial, 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; sterile part separated from fertile at to well above ground, blade simple to compound, veins free and forked (or netted, with included veinlets); fertile part bladeless, bearing sporangia, simple to compound
Sporangia dehiscent into 2 valves, ± 1 mm wide, thick-walled
Genera in family: 3 genera, 70–85 species: ± worldwide, generally rare or overlooked. Fern-like plants with many traits of seed plants. Specimens must be carefully spread and pressed for identification; haploid generation underground, fleshy, non-green, associated with fungi.



Roots smooth, pale, generally with bulblets or plantlets
Leaf: sterile part simple, linear to lanceolate or cordate, not midribbed, entire, firm, herbaceous, tip often with small stiff point, veins netted with included free branched or unbranched veinlets; fertile part generally > sterile, unbranched, slender
Sporangia in 2 rows, sunken in a linear, long-stalked axis
Species in genus: 20–25 species: generally warm temp, tropical
Etymology: (Greek: snake's tongue, from protruding fertile part of leaf)
Horticultural information: TRY; DFCLT.


O. pusillum Raf.


Caudex < 20 mm, 3 mm wide
Leaf: sterile part separated from fertile well above ground, blade flat, thin, herbaceous, pale green
Sporangia 10–30 pairs; rows of sporangia 10–30 mm; sterile axis tip 1–3 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=±960.
Ecology: Very uncommon. Marsh edges, low pastures, grassy roadside ditches
Elevation: 1000–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: e Klamath Ranges (Siskiyou Co.), High North Coast Ranges (ne Mendocino Co.), n Sierra Nevada (El Dorado Co.)
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e N.America
Synonyms: O. vulgatum L. var. pseudopodum (S.F. Blake) Farw
True O. v., adder's-tongue fern, is unknown in North America.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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