Ophioglossum gracillimum Welw. ex Hook. & Baker

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (3)

Ophioglossum gracillimum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Ophioglossum gracillimum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Ophioglossum gracillimum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Rhizome spindle-shaped, c. 2-3 mm thick, 3-10 mm long, sometimes with a single, withered, persistent leaf base; roots descending, some horizontal. Leaves 1 or 2, erect to 30° from the vertical. Petiole up to 3 cm long, subterranean for 40-50 % of its length. Sterile lamina 16-35 × 1-2.5 mm, linear-elliptic to needle-like in outline, somewhat falcate, apex with short sharp point (mucro), base narrowly tapering, sometimes into a slender pseudo-petiole, venation of c. 7 longitudinal anastomosing veins forming slender areoles; fertile segment 2.5-4.5 cm long, inserted at the base of the lamina. Sporangia 7-15 pairs.
Notes: O. gracillimum has a long needle-like leaf with a width:length ratio of 1:10-20. It could be confused with O. lusoafricanum that has a more linear rhizome, a stipe that is buried for 30-50% of its length and a leaf with:length ratio of 1:7-9.
Derivation of specific name: gracillinum: slender; this species has a very narrow leaf.
Habitat: Seasonally moist soils along vlei margins and watercourses in deciduous woodland. In Zimbabwe collected in Colophospermum mopane woodland, growing together with O. costatum and O. gomezianum.
Altitude range: (metres) 880 m (approx)
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: 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. Page 40. (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) Pages 186 - 188. (Includes a picture).

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 118 - 119. (Includes a picture).

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 Pages 32 - 33.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 33.

Other sources of information about Ophioglossum gracillimum:

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ophioglossum gracillimum.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=100270, retrieved 4 March 2024

Site software last modified: 26 March 2018 2:01pm (GMT +2)
Terms of use