Ophioglossum

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Ophioglossum
Ophioglossum closeup.jpg
Ophioglossum vulgatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Psilotopsida
Order: Ophioglossales
Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Ophioglossum
L.
Species

Some 25-30, including:
Ophioglossum austroasiaticum
Ophioglossum azoricum
Ophioglossum californicum
Ophioglossum costatum
Ophioglossum crotalophoroides
Ophioglossum engelmannii
Ophioglossum lusitanicum
Ophioglossum nudicaule
Ophioglossum pedunculosum
Ophioglossum petiolatum
Ophioglossum polyphyllum
Ophioglossum pusillum
Ophioglossum pycnosticum
Ophioglossum reticulatum
Ophioglossum tenerum
Ophioglossum thermale
Ophioglossum vulgatum

Ophioglossum, the adder's-tongue ferns, is a genus of about 25-30 species of ferns in the family Ophioglossaceae, of the order Ophioglossales. The name Ophioglossum comes from the Greek, and means "snake-tongue". [1]

Their cosmopolitan distribution is mainly in tropical and subtropical habitats. [1]

Description[edit]

Adders-tongues are so-called because the spore-bearing stalk is thought to resemble a snake's tongue. Each plant typically sends up a small, undivided leaf blade with netted venation, and the spore stalk forks from the leaf stalk, terminating in sporangia which are partially concealed within a structure with slitted sides. [1]

When the leaf blade is present, there is not always a spore stalk present, and the plants do not always send up a leaf, sometimes going for a year to a period of years living only under the soil, nourished by association with soil fungi.

The plant grows from a central, budding, fleshy structure with fleshy, radiating roots.

Taxonomy[edit]

Ophioglossum has the highest chromosome count of any known living organism, with 1,260 chromosomes.[2] In comparison, most species have far fewer chromosomes (e.g. humans have 46). [3]

Selected species[edit]

Species of Ophioglossum include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c eFloras: Ophioglossum . accessed 2.14.2014.
  2. ^ Gerardus J. H. Grubben (2004). Vegetables. PROTA. p. 404. ISBN 978-90-5782-147-9. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Biomysteries Blog: "Largest Chromosome number of Ophioglossum"

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ophioglossum.