Pyrrosia Mirb.

Photo: P. Ballings


Description of the genus

Rhizome creeping, slender; rhizome scales peltate, entire or ciliate. Fronds monomorphic, with or without disticnt stipes, articulated to the rhizome, simple, margins entire, coriaceous, densely covered on both surfaces with stellate hairs but upper surface usually becoming glabrous with age. Veins obscure except for the midrib. Sori numerous, round to slightly elongated, arranged in several closely spaced, parallel rows on both sides of the midrib on the upper part of the frond, when immature protected by stellate hairs, becoming visible at maturity.


Derivation of name:  pyrros: flamecoloured, red; referring to the coat of red stellate hairs of some species.

Worldwide: c. 51 species, palaeotropical distribution.



We have 6 taxa in the database for Pyrrosia.

  • Pyrrosia africana (Kunze) F.Ballard
  • Pyrrosia lanceolata (L.) Farw.
  • Pyrrosia rhodesiana (C. Chr.) Schelpe
  • Pyrrosia schimperiana (Mett. ex Kuhn) Alston var. schimperiana
  • Pyrrosia schimperiana (Mett. ex Kuhn) Alston var. liebuschii (Hieron.) Hovenkamp
  • Pyrrosia stolzii (Hieron.) Schelpe


  • 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.