Ophioglossum - Ophioglossaceae

Ophioglossum sandieae J.E. Burrows






Common name


Rhizome spindle-shaped, 10-15 × 2-3 mm, leaf bases shortly persistent; roots descending, becoming horizontal, probably proliferous. Leaves 1 or in pairs, held at c.80° from the horizontal. Petiole 1.6-2.5 cm long, subterranean for about 30-40 % of its length. Sterile lamina 14-39 × 2.5-5 mm, narrowly elliptic in outline, apex pointed, base narrowly cuneate, fertile lamina flat to convex above, midgreen; fertile segment 5.5-9 cm long. Sporangia 11-19 pairs.


O. lusoafricanum and O. caroticaule are, like O. sandieae, narrow leaved Ophioglossum species. The leaf width:length ratio differs in these ferns: O. caroticaule (1:7.2), O. lusoafricanum (1:7-9) and O. sandiae (1:4.5).


sandieae: named after Sandra M. Burrows, botanical illustrator who first saw this as a distinct species.


In Colophospermum mopane woodland in shallow sandy soils over rock or clay.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 122 - 123. (Includes a picture).