Ophioglossum lusitanicum

Austral Adder's-tongue

Erect fern with 1-4 sterile fronds and a fertile spike on short erect tuberous rhizome (rooting stem), forming dense clumps. Stem is partly underground and fleshy, dying back to the rhizome in winter.

Additional information

  • FamilyOphioglossaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size3-15 cm high
  • Plant groupingFerns & Fern Allies
  • LeavesFleshy lance-shaped sterile frond 1-4 cm long, base tapering. Spike 5-15 mm on long stalk to 8 cm, growing from base of sterile frond.
  • Flowers6-15 pairs of spore cases per spike.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist soil beside watercourses in open heathy forests. Full sun, semi shade. Not easily seen and limited distribution within the Shire.
  • Garden useDifficult to cultivate. An interesting plant which may grow in a container.
  • Commercially availableNever
  • Conservation statusSignificant within the Shire. Collected from very few local sites with most collections before 1952. Widely scattered throughout Victoria.
Photographer/s: 1 Chris Lindorff NatureShare ©; 2 Cathy Powers ©; 3 Geoff Lay ©

Plant Communities

  • 16 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest Central Highlands/UpperYarra (EVC 45)
  • 19 Long-leaf Box Herb-rich Foothill Forest (EVC 23)
  • 18 Messmate Shrubby Foothill Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 45)
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