Ophioglossum vulgatum L.
subsp. africanum Pocock ex J.E. Burrows

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Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum

Picture: Petra Ballings
Nyahokwe, Nyanga

Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum

Picture: Petra Ballings
Nyahokwe, Nyanga

Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum

Picture: Petra Ballings

Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum

Picture: Petra Ballings

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Common names:
Rhizome short, linear to oval, c. 1-3 cm long; old leaf bases absent; roots horizontal, proliferous. Leaves 1, held at 60-80° from the horizontal. Petiole up to 16 cm long, subterranean for 25-50 % of its length. Sterile lamina 25-90 × 9-40 mm, ovate to sometimes lanceolate in outline, apex pointed, base wedge-shaped, sometimes with a pseudo-petiole up to 2 cm long; fertile segment 8-16.5 cm long, slender; Sporangia 19-46 pairs, apex pointed.
Type location:
Notes: O. vulgatum subsp. africanum resembles O. reticulatum, the latter however has bright green leaves, ovate to suborbicular in outline with a cordate or truncate base.
Derivation of specific name: vulgatum: common; africanum: of Africa.
Habitat: Seasonally moist areas in deciduous woodland and montane grassland.
Altitude range:
Worldwide distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N
Zambian distribution (Provinces):
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. Page 44. As O. vulgatum L. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Edwards, T.J. (1993). Nomenclatural changes and additions to the genus Ophioglossum in Africa (Ophioglossaceae: Pteridophyta) Bothalia 23(2) Page 189. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 36. as Ophioglossum vulgatum africanum africanum

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 110 - 111. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 164 - 165. As O. vulgatum L. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 39. As O. vulgatum L.

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 37. As O. vulgatum L.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 79.

Other sources of information about Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ophioglossum vulgatum subsp. africanum

External websites:

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

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 vulgatum subsp. africanum.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=100360, retrieved 1 December 2023

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