Connecticut Plants
Northern Adder's-tongue
Ophioglossum pusillum Raf.

Northern adder's-tongue doesn't look much like a fern, as it has a single, oval sterile frond, and a single fertile frond that looks like a double row of beads on a stalk. In Connecticut, it is a threatened plant, though it is more common in northern New England.

  • Synonyms: Ophioglossum vulgatum
  • Family: adder's-tongue (Ophioglossaceae)
  • Habitat: fields, ditches, and woods in soil that is acidic and seasonally wet
  • Height: 5-12 inches
  • Location of spores: on a separate fertile frond at the apex of the main frond
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): green, smooth and fragile
  • Growth pattern: single leaf
  • Persistence: deciduous
  • Origin: native
Ophioglossum pusillum Raf.
Ophioglossum pusillum Raf.

This is the fertile part of northern adder's-tongue. The spores are released through the horizontal slits.