Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Least Adder's - Tongue

Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Least Adder's-Tongue.

Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Least Adder's-Tongue.

This week's Isles of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week was Least Adder's-Tongu, Ophioglossum Lusitanicum. 

To find the fern, Least or Early Adder's-Tongue, you need to go to Wingletang, St Agnes in the winter. The leaves of this plant appear in October and the fertile spikes from December to January.

As the plant goes over Small Adder's-Tongue begins to appear. Small Adder's-Tongue beginsis found on all the inhabited islands. Least is only found on Wingletang in the UK, apart from the Channel Islands. Small or Lesser Adder's-Tongue is not found in Cornwall, but it is a UK West Coast plant. We also had the plant just known as Adder's-Tongue on St Agnes. This hasn't been seen since the 1990s.

The botanical name, Ophioglossum Lusitanicum, means a serpent tongued plant from Portugal. Least Adder's-Tongue was found here in 1950 by a botanist, John Raven.

Adder's-Tongue was once thought to be a cure for snake bite as it look like a snake's head. Fortunately for our two species of Adder's-Tongue we don't have any snakes on the islands.

So if you see someone crawling around an apparently bare patch of earth on Wingletang letting out little squeaks of excitement and grinning all over their faces don't worry about their sanity, it's just a botanist having found the tiny Least Adder's-Tongue fern.

You can listen to Liz's Wildflower Of The Week below and Liz will have a brand new wildflower for you next Wednesday at 10:30am.