Ophioglossaceae comprise two clearly defined subfamilies, Botrychioideae and Ophioglossoideae, which are sometimes recognized as distinct families. Ophioglossaceae may be only distantly related to the ferns and more closely related to Marattiales and certain seedplants, especially Cycadales, in such characteristics as stelar type, cork cambium, dilated leaf bases, conduplicate vernation, intercalary leaf growth, collateral leaf traces, circular-bordered pits, eusporangia, massive gametophytes, sunken archegonia, and presence in some species of endoscopic embryos.
(Key to genera of Ophioglossaceae)
Genera 5, species ca. 70–80 (3 genera, 38 species in the flora).
|1||Blades mostly pinnately divided or lobed; veins free; margins entire to dentate to lacerate; sporangial clusters pinnately branched, sporangia sessile or terminating short stalks.||Botrychium|
|1||Blades undivided or palmately lobed; veins anastomosing; margins entire; sporangial clusters with sporangia embedded in compact linear spike.||> 2|
|2||Trophophore blades simple, unlobed, to 4.5 cm wide; main areoles mostly less than 6 mm wide; sporophore 1 per leaf at ground level or above ground level, or absent; plants terrestrial.||Ophioglossum|
|2||Trophophore blades palmately lobed, to 30 cm wide; main areoles large, mostly more than 30 mm; sporophores several to many per leaf at base of blade; plants epiphytic.||Cheiroglossa|