Botrychium virginianum
ADDER'S-TONGUE FAMILY (Ophioglossaceae)

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This native perennial – not a true fern but included here among the ferns – grows up to 2 feet tall. The broad, triangular leaves (sterile fronds) are up to 10 inches long. The leaves are 3-5 times divided. The common stem is erect and holds a fertile frond above the leaves, bearing a cluster of spore casings, first green (C), then yellow when ripe and open to release the spores (D). Lowland Fragile Fern (Cystopteris protusa) has similar leaves, but not the erect fertile frond which rises on a long stalk above the leaves.

Grows in moist, rich soils, especially in more open, younger woodlands.In Fontenelle Forest, rare along Prairie Trail. At Neale Woods, uncommon along Neale Trail above overlook.

Some Native Americans used a root poultice for snakebites and cuts.

The content of NatureSearch is provided by dedicated volunteer Naturalists of Fontenelle Forest who strive to provide the most accurate information available. Contributors of the images retain their copyrights. The point of contact for this page is: Roland Barth.