Botrychium - Ophioglossaceae

Botrychium chamaeconium Bitter & Hieron.






Common name


Roots numerous, stout. Fronds 8–28 cm tall. Common stipe 5–12 cm long, with a few weak whitish hairs, particularly towards the base; bud completely enclosed by the ± persistent stipular base of the leaf stalk. Sterile lamina membranous, broadly subdeltoid to pentagonal in outline, 3–16 cm long, to 18 cm broad, bipinnate with the pinnules pinnatifid, the basal pinnae tripinnate with the rhachises narrowly winged; ultimate segments broadly elliptic or ovate in outline, much lobed, the lobes oblong or suboblong, toothed at the apex, the teeth ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acute. Fertile segment erect, arising from the base, or towards the base, of the sterile blade, bi- or tripinnate, to 15 cm long and 5 cm wide, with stalk to 5 cm long. Sporangia globose to spherical, pale brown, not immersed, to 1.5 mm diameter when mature; horizontally dehiscent, the valves broadly reflexed in dehiscence. Spores pale yellow.




Moist soil over rocks.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan, Uganda.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. & Johns, R.J. (2001) Ophioglossaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Pages 1 - 3. (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 32.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Page 47.