Ophioglossum - Ophioglossaceae

Ophioglossum pendulum L.






Ophioderma pendulum (L.) C.Presl

Common name


Rhizome shortly horizontal to creeping, 10–40 mm long, fleshy. Leaves 1–6, pendulous, simple or bifurcate. Stipe 3–25 mm long, tapering gradually into the lamina. Lamina linear, 0.2–2(–4) m long, 6–90 mm wide, apex pointed to rounded, sometimes forked, base narrowly tapering. Fertile spike 25–500 mm long, situated medially well above the base of the lamina, usually about 1/3–1/2-way up the leaf from the rhizome, pedicel 6–25 mm long, sporangial spike 15–450 mm long with 25–50 pairs of sporangia.


Tanzania might be a wrong distribution. Material from Zanzibar originates from a collection by Kirk in Oct. 1881. The material has not been re-collected in Zanzibar. Kirk received material from the Indian Ocean Islands, so it is possible that the Zanzibar material originated from the Comores. (Burrow, 2001)




Distribution worldwide

(Africa), Comores, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles, SE. Asia and Polynesia to Hawaii.

Distribution in Africa

Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. & Johns, R.J. (2001) Ophioglossaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Pages 17 - 18. (Includes a picture).
  • 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 34.