Common Name: ADDER'S-TONGUE FAMILY
Habit: 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 pls. Sporangia: dehiscent into 2 valves, +- 1 mm wide, thick-walled.
Genera In Family: 10 genera, 80--100 species: +- worldwide, generally rare or overlooked.
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 (SCo) 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]
eFlora Treatment Author: Donald R. Farrar, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Alan R. Smith, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Common Name: MOONWORT
Habit: Roots smooth, pale yellow, without bulblets or plantlets. Leaf: deciduous; bud glabrous; sporophore and trophophore (or 2 sporophores) joined at or well above ground level; trophophore generally 1--2-pinnate (simple or entire or 0), linear to deltate to ternately triangular, thin to fleshy, pinnae ovate to oblong and midribbed or wedge- to fan-shaped and not midribbed, veins free, forked; sporophore 1--2-pinnate, rarely absent. Sporangia: not sunken in axis; stalk 0 or short.
Species In Genus: 25--35 species: generally temperate to arctic or alpine. Etymology: (Greek: bunch of grapes, from clusters of sporangia) Note: Difficult, needs study; most species uncommon, sporadic; good sampling of populations highly desirable in specimens, which must be carefully spread and pressed for identification. Botrychium multifidum moved to Sceptridium. Botrychium pedunculosum W.H. Wagner, differing from Botrychium pinnatum in having trophophore stalk +- = trophophore rachis (vs trophophore stalk 0 to 1/10 trophophore rachis), recently confirmed for California, based on discovery in summer of 2010 near Reynolds Creek, western of Yosemite National Park, Calaveras Co.
Leaf: sporophore, trophophore joined near ground level (may be well above ground in +- young plants), generally at top of leaf sheath, trophophore simple to deeply lobed to 1-pinnate throughout to 2-pinnate in basal pinnae, < 12 cm, ovate in 1-pinnate portion, ternate in large plants with basal pinnae expanded, firm, pinnae touching to well separated, fan- to wedge-shaped, outer margins entire to slightly crenate; sporophore 1-pinnate, deltate to linear, stalk 1--2 × trophophore, branches ascending, well spaced.