Ophioglossum thomasii R.T. Clausen

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Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome minute, ellipsoid to spindle-shaped, 1–4 mm long; roots few, horizontal, fleshy, proliferous. Leaves usually 1 (rarely 2), almost flat on the ground. Petiole up to 5 mm long, completely subterranean, petiole bases not persistent. Sterile lamina minute, blue-green, becoming orange-yellow with age, oblanceolate to elliptic in outline, 1–8 × 0.3–2 mm, apex rounded to broadly pointed, base attenuate, margins flat; venation simple, usually one median and two lateral veins. Fertile spike 1.5–5 cm long, with 2–7 pairs of sporangia, apex pointed.
Type location:
Notes: It can be distinguished from other Ophioglossum species by its small size, the smaller sterile leaf and proportionately longer fertile spike.
Derivation of specific name: thomasii: probably named after H.N.Thomas, anthropologist and plant collector.
Habitat: Sandy soils in seasonally wet seepage areas over rocks or lateritic pans, apparently in open situations.
Altitude range: 1160 - 1650 m
Worldwide distribution: Cameroon, Coté d' Ivoire, DRC, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 47 - 48. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 38.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 34.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 35.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 35. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Ophioglossum thomasii:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Ophioglossum thomasii
Flora of Malawi: Ophioglossum thomasii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ophioglossum thomasii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ophioglossum thomasii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ophioglossum thomasii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ophioglossum thomasii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ophioglossum thomasii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ophioglossum thomasii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ophioglossum thomasii
JSTOR Plant Science: Ophioglossum thomasii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ophioglossum thomasii
Plants of the World Online: Ophioglossum thomasii
Tropicos: Ophioglossum thomasii
Wikipedia: Ophioglossum thomasii

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Ophioglossum thomasii.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=100350, retrieved 6 December 2023

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