West Highland Flora


Ophioglossum vulgatum


Ophioglossum vulgatum

Photo Carl Farmer
30 May 2006 Scalpay, nr Skye
LH blade c 1.9 cm across at widest

Young fronds with undeveloped spikes

Scarce.  Rock crevices, grassy path-sides and possibly other places - hard to spot.

Sterile leaf-blade c 1-12 cm long.  Specimens in exposed places are very small and can be confused with Small Adderstongue.

ID: When mature, the frond consists of a spore-less oval leaf-blade and a narrow pointed spore-bearing spike on a stalk.  Told from Small Adderstongue by nearly all the fronds arising singly rather than 2-3 together.  The picture on the left shows an immature frond.  Mature ones have an upright spike reaching higher than the sterile blade, similar to those on the Small Adderstongue page.

Other features: The spike has c 10-40 segments on each side.  Small Adderstongue has c 4-18. No other Skye fern resembles the Adderstongues.  Moonwort belongs to the same family but has a completely different appearance.

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