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Family Ophioglossaceae
Ribbon fern
Ophioglossum pendulum Linn.

Scientific names Common names
Ophioglossum pendulum Linn. Hanging adder's-tongue fern (Engl.)
  Old world adder's tongue (Engl.)
  Ribbon fern (Engl.)

Ophioglossum pendulum is an epiphytic fern. Leaves are long, pendant, ribbonlike, up to 120 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, one to several times forked, and with undulating margins. Fertile stalk is with strobilus to 15 cm long.

Usually on trunks and branches of trees in damp primary forests.
Occasionally planted as ornamental.
Widely distributed in the tropics.

Parts used


In Moorea, French Polynesia, plant used for indigestion.
In India, fronds used in the form of a scalp ointment to improve hair growth.
In Malaysia, juice of leaves used by the Temuan tribe as shampoo to clean and treat hair.


May 2011

IMAGE SOURCE: Public Domain / File:014 Ophioglossum pendulum koburan.jpg / Japanese pictorial book of flora / Michio Murakoshi (1872-1948) / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: 47110 Ophioglossum pendulum L. / Ophioglossaceae / W.J. Hooker, R.K. Greville, Icones filicum, vol. 1, t. 19 (1831) / Dr. Greville / Plant Illustrations.Org

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Medical Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry, and Bioactivity of the Ferns of Moorea, French Polynesia / Nicole Baltrushes, May 2006
Ophioglossum pendulum / Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary / C. P. Khare / Google books
A Review on the Potential Uses of Ferns / M Mannar Mannan, M Maridass and B Victor / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 281-285. 2008.
The Use of Medicinal Plant Species by the Temuan Tribe of Ayer HitamForest, Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia / I Faridah Hanum and Nurulhuda Hamzah / PertanikaJ. Trap. Agric. Sci. 22(2): 85 -94 (1999)

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