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

Life form information

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

Distribution information

Plantatt Conservation Status


JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

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.