P. S. Green Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, tw9 3AB, England

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In open areas in the forest.

N.Is.: valley S of Mt Bates, P.S.Green 1896 (K); s. loc., B.Chapman in J.D.McComish 253 (K).

1Doubtful record

Lycopodium deuterodensum Herter, Index Lycopod. 15 (1949) (L. densum Labill. nom. illeg. non Lam.) has been recorded from Norfolk Is., first by Bentham (Fl. Austral. 7: 676, 1878) and subsequently copied by other authors, but a search has failed to find any specimen upon which this record could be based, and the species has not been found since on the Island.


Terrestrial herbs, erect or creeping, often with rhizophores, usually much branched. Leaves numerous, small, 1-veined, with a small ligule, often of two kinds borne in two planes. Sporophylls in compact, terminal strobili (cones); sporangia axillary, producing 1–4 relatively large megaspores or very numerous, minute microspores; megasporangia and microsporangia usually in same spike.

A monogeneric family of perhaps 700 or more species, found mostly in the humid tropical or subtropical regions of the world, but with a few temperate species; 1 species naturalised on Norfolk Is.

G.Bentham, Lycopodiaceae, Fl. Austral. 7: 677–679 (1878); A.H.G.Alston, The genus Selaginella in the Malay Peninsula, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 8: 41–62 (1934); A.H.G.Alston, The Selaginellae of the Malay Islands, 1, Java and the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg 13: 432–442 (1935); A.H.G.Alston, The Selaginellae of the Malay Islands, 2, Sumatra, Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg 14: 175–186 (1937); K.M.Wong, Critical Observations on Peninsular Malaysian Selaginella, Gard. Bull. Singapore 35: 107–135 (1982).


Mag. Encycl. Paris IX 5: 478(1804)
a diminutive of selago, a name used by Pliny for a plant resembling a Mediterranean species of juniper

Type: S. spinosa P.Beauv., nom. illeg. = S. selaginoides (L.) Link

A large genus of perhaps 700 or more species found mostly in humid tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

kraussiana(Kunze) A.Braun
Index Sem. Hort. Bot. Berol. App. 22(1859)

Lycopodium kraussianum Kunze, Linnaea 18: 114 (1844).T: Natal, South Africa, C.F.F. von Krauss; iso: K. Named after the collector of the type specimen.

Illustrations: B.D.Duncan & G.Isaac, Ferns & Allied Pl. Victoria, Tasmania & S. Australia 52, fig. 4.15C, 54, fig. 4.18 (1986); D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 52, 371 (1987); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 319, fig. 33.1D (1990).

Trailing herb, 20–30 cm long, much branched, with a rhizophore at each branching. Leaves of two forms: lateral leaves crowded on terminal branches, lanceolate-oblong, 2–3 mm long, acute; median leaves appressed, lanceolate, 1.5–2 mm long, acuminate, slightly keeled. Cones, when produced, narrow, 5 mm long; sporophylls ovate, acuminate, keeled.

Occurs on Norfolk Is.

A garden escape, persisting as a weed in a few places.

N.Is.: New Cascade Rd, W.R.Sykes NI 658 (CHR).

1Doubtful record

Selaginella uliginosa (Labill.) Spring was recorded by G.Bentham (Fl. Austral. 7: 678, 1878) from Lord Howe Is., based on a collection by C.Moore. This has not been traced and it is believed that the specimen at Kew annotated in Baker's hand: 'Lord Howe's Island Hb. Macleay recd. 5/73' is mislabelled.


Terrestrial or epiphytic herbs; rhizome short, erect. Fronds solitary or few, simple or divided. Sporangia borne in a simple or branched spike which arises on or at the top of the common stipe of the lamina. Sporangia numerous, large, without an annulus, many-spored, in Ophioglossum ±sunk into the surrounding tissue.

A worldwide family of 4 genera and c. 55 species; 2 genera native to Lord Howe Is., 1 also native to Norfolk Is.

G.Bentham, Filices, Tribe Ophioglosseae, Fl. Austral. 7: 688–690 (1878); R.T.Clausen, A Monograph of the Ophioglossaceae, Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 19: 1–77 (1938); J.H.Wieffering, A preliminary revision of the Indo-Pacific species of Ophioglossum (Ophioglossaceae), Blumea 12: 321–337 (1964); R.E.Holttum, Fl. Malaya (Ferns) 2nd edn, 2: 38–42 (1968); D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 57, 62–63 (1981); R.M.Tryon & F.M.Tryon, Ferns & Allied Pl. 25–39 (1982).


Sterile lamina simple, or the upper end sometimes once branched; venation reticulate


Sterile lamina compound; venation open and dichotomous



Sp. Pl. 2: 1062(1753)
Gen. Pl. 5th edn, 484 (1754); from the Greek ophis (snake) and glossa (tongue), from Adder's Tongue, the folk-name in several languages

Type: O. vulgatum L.

Terrestrial, perennial or annual herbs. Fronds erect or pendulous, somewhat fleshy, with a stipe which is common to the fertile spike(s); lamina simple or palmately lobed, with reticulate venation; primary areoles with free veinlets. Sporangia borne in 1–several, simple, stalked spikes; sporangia ±immersed in 2 marginal rows, dehiscing by transverse slits.

A cosmopolitan but mainly tropical genus of 25–30 species. Four native species on Lord Howe Is., with 1 also on Norfolk Is.

G.Bentham, Filices, Ophioglossum, Fl. Austral. 7: 688–689 (1878).

1 Terrestrial herb; fronds erect, lamina 1–6 cm long

2 Sterile lamina broadly ovate, broadly obtuse to subtruncate at base, venation clearly reticulate; plants 3–7 cm tall; spike with peduncle 1.2–4 cm long

1. O. reticulatum

2: Sterile lamina lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate or elliptic, obtuse to narrowly acute at base, venation clearly or obscurely reticulate; plants 5–20 cm tall; spike with peduncle (1.5–) 4–14 cm long

3 Sterile lamina thick, with obvious venation, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, ±obtuse at base; spike 2–5 cm long, with peduncle (1.5–) 5–14 cm long

2. O. petiolatum

3: Sterile lamina somewhat thick with venation ±obscure, elliptic to broadly elliptic, rarely somewhat narrowly lanceolate, acute to narrowly acute at base; spike 0.5–4 cm long, with peduncle 4–8 cm long

3. O. coriaceum

1: Epiphytic herb; fronds pendulous; lamina 30–100 cm long

4. O. pendulum

Sp. Pl. 2: 1063(1753)

T: Haiti, not designated; lecto: C.Plumier, Traité Foug. Amér. t. 164 (1705), fide G.R.Proctor in R.A.Howard, Fl. Lesser Antilles 2: 43 (1977). So named from the reticulate venation.

Illustrations: J.H.Wieffering, Blumea 12: 325 (1964); G.Brownlie, Pterido. Fl. Fiji 47, t. 4, fig. 1 (1977); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 18 (1990).

Terrestrial herb 3–7 cm tall. Fronds erect. Sterile lamina broadly ovate, 1.5–2.5 cm long, (0.8–) 1.2–1.5 cm broad, broadly obtuse to subtruncate at base, acute at apex, venation evident. Fertile spike 0.8–1.2 cm long on a stipe 1.2–4 cm long.

Lord Howe Is. Rare? Of pantropical distribution. Very recently collected for the first time on the Island from a small, very local population growing in a mossy substrate. Not known from Australia or New Zealand.

L.H.Is.: The Saddle, I.Hutton 578 (K).

The description above is based on Hutton 578, cited above; with further collections the dimensions may be increased slightly. It appears to coincide with J.H.Wieffering's figure of O. reticulatum f. dilatatum (Miq.) Wieff. in Blumea 12: 325 (1964).

Exot. Fl. 1: 56(1823)

T: cult., grown from a sporeling on the root of a plant introduced from the West Indies; holo: K. So named from the conspicuously petiolate leaves.

[Ophioglossum vulgatum auct. non L.: J.H.Maiden, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28: 740 (1904); R.M.Laing, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 47: 15 (1915)]

Illustrations: D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 58 (1987); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. 35, fig. 36, t. 4F (1989); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 262, fig. 25.3B (1990).

Terrestrial herb 10–20 cm tall. Fronds erect. Sterile lamina thick, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 2–6 cm long, 1–2 cm broad, widest in the lower half, basally ±obtuse, apically acute; venation evident. Spike 2–5 cm long, with peduncle (1.5–) 5–14 cm long.

Norfolk Is., Lord Howe Is. Rare, dying down in summer. Also known from New Zealand, the Kermadec Islands, all Australian States and New Caledonia.

N.Is.: Mt Pitt, F.C.Allen CHR229320 (CHR); s. loc., R.M.Laing (CHR); s. loc., 1902, I.Robinson (NSW). L.H.Is.: North Beach, I.R.H.Telford 7049 & M.D.Crisp (CBG).

Ophioglossum petiolatum is sometimes included in O. reticulatum by Australian authors (e.g. P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 18, 1990).

Companion Bot. Mag. 2: 361(1837)

T: New Zealand, A.Cunningham 161; holo: K. The epithet refers to the thick or coriaceous texture of the leaf lamina.

Ophioglossum vulgatum var. lanceolatum Luerss., J. Mus. Godeffroy 8: 115 (1875); Ophioglossum prantlii C.Chr., Index Filic. 471 (1906); Ophioglossum vulgatum var. prantlii (C.Chr.) W.R.B.Oliv., Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 49: 126 (1917).T: Rockhampton, Queensland, A.Dietrich 513; holo: ?HBG n.v.; iso: BM.

[Ophioglossum vulgatum auct. non L.: W.W.Watts, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 37: 396 (1912)]

Illustrations: C.Luerrsen, J. Mus. Godeffroy 8: t. 13, figs 66–76 (1875); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. 35, fig. 35, t. 4E (1989); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 18 (1990).

Terrestrial, erect herb 5–15 cm tall. Sterile lamina somewhat thick, narrowly to broadly elliptic, rarely somewhat lanceolate, (1–) 2–4 (–5) cm long, 0.6–2 (usually c. 1.2) cm broad, usually widest towards middle, basally acute to narrowly acute, venation ±obscure. Spike 0.5–4 cm long, with peduncle 4–8 cm long.

Fig. 101B.v*****_f*****.jpg

Lord Howe Is. Of scattered occurrence throughout the Island, but never common. Also known from all Australian States and New Zealand.

L.H.Is.: Johnsons Farm, 1911, W.W.Watts (NSW); Mt Eliza, A.C.Beauglehole 4745 (CANB, MEL); Erskine Valley, A.C.Beauglehole 5744 (CANB, MEL).

Variable in size, and to some extent in the shape of the sterile laminas, this species has been the cause of much taxonomic confusion and is sometimes included in O. lusitanicum by Australian authors (e.g. R.Chinnock in J.P.Jessop & H.R.Toelken, Fl. S. Australia 4th edn, 1: 84, 1986).

pendulumL. in Stickman
Herb. Amboin. 27(1754)

T: illustration in G.E.Rumphius, Herb. Amboin. 6: t. 37, fig. 3 (1750); an illustration of Scolopendria major. Named in allusion to its pendulous fronds.

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 62, fig. 37d (1981); D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 346 (1987); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 260, fig. 25.2A (1990).

Epiphyte, rhizome short. Sterile lamina 1–several, pendulous, strap-shaped, 30–100 cm long, 1–3 cm broad, gradually narrowed into an indefinite stipe, rounded, with apical part sometimes dichotomously forked; veins narrowly reticulate. Spike 6–15 cm long, 5–8 mm broad, arising from middle, or towards base of lamina; peduncle 2–5 cm long.

Lord Howe Is. Rare. Also known from Madagascar, Ceylon and Malesia, to Australia (Qld and northern N.S.W.), and to the south-western Pacific islands, but not on Norfolk Is. or New Zealand.

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