Dicranopteris Bernh.

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Rhizome bearing multicellular hairs, but without scales. Frond branching repeatedly into two as a result of the abortion of the terminal buds, with a pair of stipule-like pinnae at the primary, and often also at the secondary branching points. Terminal buds bearing hairs similar to those of the rhizomes. Sori with 8 or more sporangia.


Derivation of name:  di-cranos: two-headed, pteris: fern; referring to the dichrotomous branching pattern.

Worldwide: c. 12 species in the tropics


Key to the species of Dicranopteris: PDF


We have 2 taxa in the database for Dicranopteris.

  • Dicranopteris elegantula Pic.Serm.
  • Dicranopteris linearis (Burm. f.) Underw.


  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.