Ophioglossum - Ophioglossaceae

Ophioglossum lancifolium C. Presl






Common name


The name O. lancifolium has been widely used in tropical Africa for plants with a narrow elliptic sterile leaf held at 60-85° from the horizontal and a linear rhizome. O. gracillimum, O. lusoafricanum, O. caroticaule have been identified within the O. lancifolium aggregate (Burrows and Edwards, 1993). Futhermore with the identification of O. sandieae, it has been concluded that the name O. lancifolium should only be used for plants from the Mascarenes and perhaps Madagascar (Crouch et al., 2011).



lancifolium: with lance-shaped leaves


Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, South Africa.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 40 - 42. (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 188.
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Page 747.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 163. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Pages 37 - 38.
  • 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. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 33.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 35 - 37. (Includes a picture).