Ophioglossum lusitanicum

Tracheophyta PteropsidaOphioglossaceaeOphioglossumOphioglossum lusitanicum


A small, rhizomatous, summer-deciduous fern, growing in open therophyte communities and parched acidic grassland on sea-cliffs and rock promontories. It prefers thin peaty soils, but is also found over shallow blown sand over acidic rocks. All sites are unshaded and exposed, but are warm and S.- or S.W.-facing. Lowland.



World Distribution

Mediterranean-Atlantic element; also in C. Asia.

Broad Habitats

Acid grassland (includes non-calcareous sandy grassland)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 6.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 848

Height (cm): 4

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Clones formed by suckering from roots

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 3

Plantatt Conservation Status


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (16b)
de Bolòs O, Vigo J
1984.  Flora dels Països Catalans, I. Introducció. Licopodiàcies-Capparàcies.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
Bangerter EB, Cannon JFM, Jermy AC
1978.  Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
McClintock D
1975.  The wildflowers of Guernsey.
Page CN
1997.  The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.
Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.