Cheilanthes Sw.

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Rhizome erect or shortly creeping, with linear scales. Stipe dark reddish-brown to black, glabrous and glossy or pilose. Fronds tufted or widely spaced, pinnately compound, uniform or rarely dimorphic, the pinnae and ultimate segments never articulated, glabrous, pubescent, pilose or tomentose, but never with coloured powdery undumentum on the underside. Sori small, discrete, borne on vein endings near the margins, or in soral lines, protected by a continuous or interrupted indusium or by the recurved lobes of the ultimate segments.


Derivation of name:  cheilos: lip, anthos: flower; an allusion to the marginal sori.

Worldwide: c.150-200 species, cosmopolitan.



We have 47 taxa in the database for Cheilanthes.

  • Cheilanthes acrostica (Balb.) Tod.
  • Cheilanthes angustifrondosa Alston
  • Cheilanthes bergiana Schltdl.
  • Cheilanthes botswanae Schelpe & N.C. Anthony
  • Cheilanthes buchananii (Baker) Domin
  • Cheilanthes capensis (Thunb.) SW.
  • Cheilanthes ceterachoides A.W. Klopper & Klopper
  • Cheilanthes contracta (Kunze) Mett. ex Kuhn
  • Cheilanthes coriacea Decne.
  • Cheilanthes deboeri Verdc.
  • Cheilanthes deltoidea Kunze ssp. silicicola Klopper & A.E. van Wijk
  • Cheilanthes deltoidea Kunze ssp. deltoidea
  • Cheilanthes depauperata Baker
  • Cheilanthes dinteri Brause
  • Cheilanthes dolomiticola (Schelpe) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony
  • Cheilanthes eckloniana (Kunze) Mett.
  • Cheilanthes erythraea Pic.Serm.
  • Cheilanthes guanchica Bolle
  • Cheilanthes hastata (L.f.) Kunze
  • Cheilanthes hirta Sw.
  • Cheilanthes hispanica Mett.
  • Cheilanthes inaequalis (Kunze) Mett.
  • Cheilanthes induta Kunze
  • Cheilanthes involuta (Sw.) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony var. involuta
  • Cheilanthes involuta (Sw.) Schelpe & N.C. Anthony var. obscura (N.C. Anthony) N.C. Anthony
  • Cheilanthes kunzei Mett.
  • Cheilanthes leachii (Schelpe) Schelpe
  • Cheilanthes marlothii (Hieron.) Domin
  • Cheilanthes multifida (Sw.) Sw.
  • Cheilanthes namaquensis (Baker) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony
  • Cheilanthes nielsii W.Jacobsen
  • Cheilanthes parviloba (Sw.) Sw.
  • Cheilanthes pentagona Schelpe & N.C. Anthony
  • Cheilanthes perlanata (Pic. Serm.) Kornas
  • Cheilanthes persica (Borry) Mett. ex Kuhn
  • Cheilanthes pteridioides (Reichard) C.Chr.
  • Cheilanthes quadripinnata (Forssk.) Kuhn
  • Cheilanthes rawsonii (Pappe) Mett. ex Kuhn
  • Cheilanthes robusta (Kunze) R.M. Tryon
  • Cheilanthes schimperi Kunze
  • Cheilanthes scioana (Chiov.) J.P.Roux
  • Cheilanthes similis F. Ballard
  • Cheilanthes tinaei Tod.
  • Cheilanthes tricholepifera (Pic.Serm.) J.P.Roux
  • Cheilanthes viridis (Forssk.) Sw. var. macrophylla (Kunze) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony
  • Cheilanthes viridis (Forssk.) Sw. var. glauca (Sim) Schelpe & N.C. Anthony
  • Cheilanthes viridis (Forssk.) Sw. var. viridis


  • 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.