Adder's-tongue Ophioglossum vulgatum L.


Adder's-tongue, Green Lawn © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

I have found Adder's-tongue fern populations in three meadows beside the lake, one at the eastern end of Indian Country pines, another on Green Lawn, where it occurs in a band along the meadow about 5 metres back from the water's edge, and in the waterside strip on the east side of Long Bay. It is shown on the BSBI Distribution Maps and 2000 Bristol Flora for the Green Lawn/Long Bay localities but not for Top End. It is not mentioned for this locale in the 1912 Bristol Flora by White, but he does say this: "It is almost impossible, with any knowledge of the plant, to miss this on suitable ground in this district, though I know that botanists are in the habit of treating it as a rarity. An old friend goes as so far as to say that she can find it in any Cowslip field!" He continues: "The old English name for this fern was "nadder's-tongue" or "naddyr-wort." In the fifteenth century it lost its original form and the initial n through an erroneous division of a naddyr into an addyr."

Bibliography (sources of information)

  1. BSBI Distribution Maps
  2. Green, I.P., Higgins, R.J., Kitchen, C. & Kitchen, M.A.R. The Flora of the Bristol Region. 2000. Bristol Environmental Records Centre.
  3. White, J.W.W. The Flora of Bristol. 1912. Reprinted in 1972 by Chatford House Press Ltd. Bristol.

Updated 7 December, 2016