Malvi’s adder’s-tongue fern: World’s smallest land fern discovered in Western Ghats
Researchers have discovered the world’s smallest land fern named Malvi’s adder’s-tongue fern (Ophioglossum malviae) inAhwa forests of Western Ghats in Gujarat’s Dang district. Ferns are seasonal and mostly grow with first monsoon rains. They are not very common even in the locality they are found in.
The fingernail-sized fern belongs to group known as adder’s-tongue ferns, named after their resemblance to snake’s tongue. Its size is just one centimetre (the most similar adder’s-tongue fern is 10 cm tall). Its minuscule seeds (called spores) has unique thick outer layer which is not present in similar species. It is differed from similar ferns in not just size but also in other complex fern features too.