Hymenophyllum Sm.

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Rhizome filiform, widely creeping, subglabrous with few and fine roots. Fronds 2- to 4-pinnatifid, glabrous or set with stellate hairs, segments entire or serrate, venation anadromous. Sori marginal with 2 indusial valves, receptacles usually not exserted.


Derivation of name:  hymen: membrane, phyllon: leaf; the leaves are very delicate and thin

Worldwide: c. 250 species, tropical and temperate distribution



We have 13 taxa in the database for Hymenophyllum.

  • Hymenophyllum aeruginosum (Poir.) Carmich.
  • Hymenophyllum capense Schrad.
  • Hymenophyllum capillare Desv.
  • Hymenophyllum fumarioides Bory ex Willd.
  • Hymenophyllum hirsutum (L.) Sw.
  • Hymenophyllum inaequale (Poir.) Desv.
  • Hymenophyllum kuhnii C. Chr.
  • Hymenophyllum mossambicense (Schelpe) Schippers
  • Hymenophyllum peltatum (Poir.) Desv.
  • Hymenophyllum sibthorpioides (Bory ex Willd.) Mett. ex Kuhn
  • Hymenophyllum splendidum Bosch
  • Hymenophyllum triangulare Baker
  • Hymenophyllum tunbridgense (L.) Sm.


  • 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.