Adders-tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum)

This was to be one of the species to search for this year, as it is one of the very under-recorded species in Somerset, but due to the Covid19 restrictions, we have decided not to distribute the spreadsheet which lists all the sites to check, in case it is seen to be encouraging members to go out away from their home areas.  However, do keep an eye out for it on your exercise walks as it is visible now and probably will be for the next month or two. 

It is a small green fern, with a fleshy single ‘leaf’, usually only a few cm high.

It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types; in old damp pastures, sometimes on lawns and in churchyards, limestone and chalk grassland, old quarries, damp peaty sites and amongst bracken, in woods, copses and hedgebanks.

It is exciting to find this strange little plant, so if you do, put all the information – finder, date, place, grid ref and any other details – how many fronds, other associated species etc. on a Somerset Occasional Records Form (available on the ‘Recording’ tab of the SRPG website) and send your records to me as it will help with the targeting list for next year, when hopefully, we will be free to search for this and other species at our leisure. 

Best wishes to you all


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