Ophioglossum lusoafricanum Welw. ex Prantl

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Ophioglossum lusoafricanum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Ophioglossum lusoafricanum

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Ophioglossum lancifolium sensu Burrows
Ophioglossum lancifolium sensu Schelpe & Anthony
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome elongated, up to 40 mm long, usually arising from a horizontal root; persistent leaf bases not present. Leaves 1 (sometimes 2), held at 60-90° from the horizontal. Petiole up to 9 cm long, subterranean for 30-50 % of its length. Sterile lamina 20-60 × 3-10 mm, narrowly elliptic or lanceolate in outline, apex pointed, base wedge-shaped to narrowly tapering, sometimes into a slender pseudo-petiole, venation obscure; fertile segment 3-16 cm long, inserted at the base of the lamina or at the base of the pseudo-petiole. Sporangia 8-23 pairs.
Notes: O. gracillimum, O. caroticaule and O. sandiae are, like O. lusoafricanum, narrow leaved Ophioglossum species. The leaf width:length ratio of these ferns differs : O. caroticaule 1:7.2, O. gracillimum 1:10-20, O. sandiae 1:4.5. O. lusoafricanum has a leaf width: length ratio of 1:7-9 and a slender, linear rhizome.
Derivation of specific name: luso: Portuguese, africanum: of Africa: of Angola, a previously Portuguese colony, from where this fern was first collected.
Habitat: Montane grassland, in wet seepage soils, in shallow soils overlying sheetrock.
Altitude range: (metres) 800 - 2000 m
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: C
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 17 May 2013

Burrows, J.E. & Edwards, T.J. (1993). Nomenclatural changes and additions to the genus Ophioglossum in Africa (Ophioglossaceae: Pteridophyta) Bothalia 23(2) Page 188.

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.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 116 - 117. (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 Page 33.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 34.

Other sources of information about Ophioglossum lusoafricanum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Ophioglossum lusoafricanum
Flora of Zambia: Ophioglossum lusoafricanum

External websites:

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

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 lusoafricanum.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=100300, retrieved 4 March 2024

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