Ophioglossum vulgatum (NL: Gewone addertong / EN: Southern adderstongue / DE: Gewöhnliche Natternzunge) is a small fern in the genus Ophioglossum. It is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with a scattered distribution in Europe, Asia, northwestern Africa, and eastern North America. This plant grows from a rhizome base to 10-20 cm tall (rarely to 30 cm). It consists of a two-part frond, separated into a rounded diamond-shaped sheath and narrow spore-bearing spike. The spike has around 10-40 segments on each side. It reproduces by means of spores. Traditional European folk use of leaves and rhizomes as a poultice for wounds. This remedy was sometimes called the "Green Oil of Charity". A tea made from the leaves was used as a traditional European folk remedy for internal bleeding and vomiting. This small, hard-to-spot plant occurs singly in un-improved pastures, rock crevices and grassy path-sides but also occurs in colonies of hundreds of plants in sand dune slacks. In Belgium the plant is very rare and endangered.
Image: De Panne (B) - 22/05/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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