Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Adder's-tongue Fern
Ophioglossum vulgatum

Family: Ophioglossaceae
Genus: Ophioglossum (oh-fee-oh-GLOSS-um) (Info)
Species: vulgatum (vul-GAIT-um) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From spores

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #1 of Ophioglossum vulgatum by Toxicodendron

By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #2 of Ophioglossum vulgatum by Toxicodendron

By amazondoc
Thumbnail #3 of Ophioglossum vulgatum by amazondoc


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive go2glenn On Apr 17, 2006, go2glenn from Suwanee, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Last year I rescued three of these nice little plants from a lot that was about to be bulldozed. They came up this year and increased their number by one. If you are a native plant collector, have a woodsie shade garden, and like to grow ferns, then you might like these little guys. All they need is moist organic soil and some shade. Probably would look great under larger ferns, etc.

Positive Toxicodendron On Apr 27, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

A native fern that I was happy to find growing on my property near a wet weather stream. The plant is small, the blades are only about 2 or 3 inches tall, and the spore spike is maybe 5 to 6 inches. They seem to form colonies, probably from rhizomes spreading. Some did not have spore spikes on them. Growing in full, but not dense, shade. Lots of old decayed leaves there for them to grow in.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Suwanee, Georgia
Piedmont, Missouri
Conway, South Carolina
Lebanon, Tennessee

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