Pteris L.

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Rhizome erect or shortly creeping; rhizome scales linear to ovate, extending to the base of the stipe. Fronds tufted or widely spaced, herbaceous to thinly coriaceous. Lamina pinnate to 4-pinnatifid, terminal pinna similar to lateral pinnae, basal pinnae often basiscopically developed, pinnae without powder on the undersurface; veins free, united in marginal vein bearing the sori, or variously anastomising with a costal areole. Rhachis, costae and costules sometimes with spines on the underside. Sori submarginal, covered by linear indusium, formed by the deflexed margin of the lamina, opening inwards.


Derivation of name:  pteron: wing; alluding to the resemblance of the symmetrical fronds to wings.

Worldwide: c. 250 species, tropical, subtropical and temperate distribution.



We have 34 taxa in the database for Pteris.

  • Pteris albersii Hieron. ssp. uaraguessensis Verd.
  • Pteris albersii Hieron. ssp. albersii
  • Pteris albersii Hieron. ssp. mufindiensis Verd.
  • Pteris atrovirens Willd.
  • Pteris auquieri Pic.Serm.
  • Pteris barombiensis Hieron.
  • Pteris bavazzanoi Pic.Serm.
  • Pteris buchananii Baker ex Sim
  • Pteris burtonii Baker
  • Pteris camerooniana Kuhn
  • Pteris catoptera Kunze
  • Pteris commutata Kuhn
  • Pteris cretica L.
  • Pteris dentata Forssk.
  • Pteris ekemae Benl.
  • Pteris friesii Hieron.
  • Pteris hamulosa (H. Christ) H. Christ
  • Pteris incompleta Cav.
  • Pteris intricata C.H. Wright
  • Pteris kivuensis C.Chr.
  • Pteris linearis Poir.
  • Pteris microlepis Pic.Serm.
  • Pteris mildbraedii Hieron.
  • Pteris mkomaziensis Verdc.
  • Pteris muricella Fée
  • Pteris preussii Hieron.
  • Pteris quadriaurita Retz.
  • Pteris repens C.Chr.
  • Pteris similis Kuhn
  • Pteris togoensis Hieron
  • Pteris tremula R.Br.
  • Pteris tripartita Sw.
  • Pteris usambarensis Hieron.
  • Pteris vittata L.


  • 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.