Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Ophioglossum azoricum - Small Adder's-tongue

Range & Status

Native; a Suboceanic Boreo-temperate fern. Mainly scattered along the western coast of Britain and Ireland north to Orkney and Shetland.

Regional Distribution

It occurs on the five inhabited islands on the Isles of Scilly; some former sites have been lost due to management issues. In Cornwall there is a recent (2007) unconfirmed, but probable, sighting near Porthgwarra in West Penwith (SW32), but this needs confirmation.

Habitat & Ecology

Short turf and shallow, seasonally wet depressions on coastal heath, on dune grassland and around granite outcrops.


Change to or lack of heathland management, herbicide use and competition from taller vegetation.


Some of the sites are SSSI.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.