Family 1. OPHIOGLOSSACEAE Presl, Tent. Pterid. 6. 1836.
Succulent plants consisting of a short fleshy rootstock bearing one or several leaves and numerous fibrous often fleshy roots. Leaves erect or pendent, confisting of a simple, palmately or dichotomously lobed, pinnately compound or decompound, sessile or stalked, sterile blade, and one or several separate stalked fertile spikes or panicles (sporophyls), borne on a common stalk. Sporanges formed from the interior tissues, naked, each opening by a transverse slit. Spores yellow, of one sort. Prothallia subterranean, usually devoid of chlorophyl and associated with an endophytic mycorhiza.
Five genera, the following well represented in both hemispheres ; the others tropical. Veins reticulate; sporanges cohering in a distichous spike. 1. Ophioglossum.
Veins free ; sporanges distinct, borne in spikes or panicles. 2. Botrychium.
Volume 1, page iii: Nathanie1 L. Britton amd Addison Lord Brown, An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States,Canada, and the British Possessions from Newfoundland to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913
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