Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A European evergreen fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium) with narrow undivided fronds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A common British fern (Scolopendrium vulgare), rare in America.
  • n. A West Indian fern, the Polypodium Phyllitidis of Linn├Žus. It is also found in Florida.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fern, Scolopendrium vulgare, with long simple fronds; also, rarely, Polypodium Singaporianum and Acrostichum cervinum. See Scolopendrium.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. tropical American terrestrial fern with leathery lanceolate fronds; sometimes placed in genus Polybotrya
  • n. Eurasian fern with simple lanceolate fronds

Etymologies

From the shape of its fronds.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Now ivy climbed boldly here and there over the rough mason-work, trails of late convolvulus festooned the opening, hardy hart's-tongue and tufts of parsley fern sprang from every crevice in the stones, while the top was covered with a tangle of briars, nettles, and matted grass.

    Two Little Travellers A Story for Girls

  • Tree-fern and hart's-tongue show verdant fronds, flushed with autumnal red or gold, and a dense growth of starry flowers suggests a bed of many-coloured tulips.

    Through the Malay Archipelago

  • The wagonette swung round into a side road, and we curved upward through deep lanes worn by centuries of wheels, high banks on either side, heavy with dripping moss and fleshy hart's-tongue ferns.

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

  • The wagonette swung round into a side road, and we curved upwards through deep lanes worn by centuries of wheels, high banks on either side, heavy with dripping moss and fleshy hart's-tongue ferns.

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

  • Near by, within a palisade, is the old castle well, with hart's-tongue ferns growing on the damp brick lining.

    What to See in England

  • Beside the Plymouth road, as it plunges down-hill past Ruan Lanihale church towards Ruan Cove, and ten paces beyond the lych-gate -- where the graves lie level with the coping, and the horseman can decipher their inscriptions in passing, at the risk of a twisted neck -- the base of the churchyard wall is pierced with a low archway, festooned with toad-flax and fringed with the hart's-tongue fern.

    I Saw Three Ships and Other Winter Tales

  • Flowers of every hue spread a brilliant carpet beneath the horses 'hoofs; the hart's-tongue, the _manamana-o-hina_, the _papa-mako_ and the parasol-plant, with mosses of every description and myriads of ferns, covered the sward.

    White Shadows in the South Seas

  • There was a lining of green moss near the top, and nearer still the hart's-tongue fern.

    Jude the Obscure

  • The hart's-tongue ferns, matted all over the steep banks, hang down like the tongues of thirsty dogs.

    Carette of Sark

  • Hildegarde's keen eyes roved among the green masses, seeking the different varieties, -- botrychium, lady-fern, delicate hart's-tongue; behind these, great nodding ostrich-ferns, bending their stately plumes over their lowlier sisters; beyond these again a tangle of brake running up into the woods.

    Hildegarde's Holiday a story for girls

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