Adders-tongue

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(Redirected from Ophioglossaceae)
Ophioglossum
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Ophioglossophyta
Class:Ophioglossopsida
Order:Ophioglossales
Family:Ophioglossaceae
Genus:Ophioglossum
Species

Adders-tongues are plants of the genus Ophioglossum, which means "snake-tongue". Ophioglossum is in the family Ophioglossaceae, in the order Ophioglossales, a small group of vascular plants. The family includes another genus, Cheiroglossa (hand ferns).

Adders-tongues are so-called because the spore stalks are thought to resember snakes' tongues. Each plant typically sends up a small, undivided leaf blade with netted venation, and the spore stalk forks from the leaf stalk, terminating in sporangia which are partially concealed within a sructure with slitted sides. The plant grows from a central, budding, fleshy structure with fleshy, radiating roots. When the leaf blade is present, there is not always a spore stalk present, and the plants do not always send up a leaf, sometimes going for a year to a period of years living only under the soil, nourished by association with soil fungi.

Many workers still place the moonworts in the Ophioglossaceae, along with the distinct species Helminthostachys zeylanica. Other times, this species is given its own family Helminthostachiaceae.

Adders-tongues have the highest chromosome counts of any known plant.

See also

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