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Common Names: Adder’s-tongue, Southern adders-tongue or Adders-tongue fern
Habitat : Ophioglossum vulgatum is native to many regions with a wide scattered distribution: throughout temperate through tropical Africa; and throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere in Europe, northeastern North America, temperate Asia, and Eurasia. This small, hard-to-spot plant can occur singly in unimproved pastures, rock crevices and grassy path-sides, but also can occur in colonies of hundreds of plants in sand dunes.
Ophioglossum vulgatum 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.
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.
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Prefers a moist free-draining soil.
Plants are hardy to about -15°c. 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 fashi
Edible uses: Used as a vegetable. No more details are found.
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
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.
The fresh leaves make a most effective and comforting poultice for ulcers and tumors. The expressed juice of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for internal bleeding and bruising.
Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity is found for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.