Adder’s Tongue

Botanical Name : Ophioglossum vulgatum
Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Ophioglossum
Species: O. vulgatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Psilotopsida
Order: Ophioglossales
Common Name :Southern adderstongue,Adder’s Tongue

Habitat : Adder’s Tongue  is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with a scattered distribution in Europe, Asia, northwestern Africa, and eastern North America.This small, hard-to-spot plant occurs singly in un-improved pastures, rock crevices and grassy path-sides but also occurs in colonies of hundreds of plants in sand dune slacks.

Description:
This plant grows from a rhizome base to 10-20 cm tall (rarely to 30 cm). It consists of a two-part frond, separated into a rounded diamond-shaped sheath and narrow spore-bearing spike. The spike has around 10-40 segments on each side. It reproduces by means of spores.It is basicaly a fern.

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It is hardy to zone 5. The seeds ripen from May to August. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist free-draining soil. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. The prothalli (a small plant formed when the spore germinates) of this species form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus in much the same way as orchid seedlings. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Plants can be hard to establish, they can be naturalized in a meadow or cultivated in the border where they should be left undisturbed. Unlike most species of ferns, the fronds of this species grow up straight and not curled inward, crozier fashion.

Propagation:
Spores – best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep them in humid conditions until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Division of underground rhizomes with care because the roots are brittle

Edible Uses: The leaves used as a vegetable.

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Medicinal Uses:
Emetic;  Skin;  Vulnerary.

The root and the leaves are antiseptic, detergent, emetic, haemostatic, styptic and vulnerary. An ointment made from the plant is considered to be a good remedy for wounds and is also used in the treatment of skin ulcers. The expressed juice of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for internal bleeding and bruising

Generally used as a poultice for ulcers and skin troubles.  An infusion of the leaves is taken for the relief of skin problems and for enlarged glands.  Various oil infusions and ointments made from the leaf and spike have been used to treat wounds, and poultices of the fresh leaves have been applied to soothe and heal bruises.  The bulbs of the plant have been recorded as emetic and as a substitute for Colchicium in the treatment of gout.  In the fresh state it has been reported to be a remedy for scurvy.  It is often used to treat scrofulous skin arising from tubercular infection.  Can mix the expressed juice with cider for internal use.  Must be used fresh.

Traditional European folk use of leaves and rhizomes as a poultice for wounds. This remedy was sometimes called the “Green Oil of Charity”. A tea made from the leaves was used as a traditional European folk remedy for internal bleeding and vomiting.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophioglossum_vulgatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ophioglossum%20vulgatum
http://www.hlasek.com/ophioglossum_vulgatum_8593.html
http://www.nature-diary.co.uk/2008/05-18.htm

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ophioglossum_vulgatum

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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