Nephrolepis Schott


Description of the genus

Rhizome short-creeping or erect, sometimes producing tubers, producing stolons that root and form shoots. Stipe not articulated. Fronds tufted, monomorphic, numerous, pinnate; pinnae articulated to the rhachis, closely set, hairy or glabrous. Venation free, ending in a hydathode near the margin. Sori round to oval or linear terminal on the veins, indusium kidney-shaped or linear, entire, opening towards the margin; homosporous.


Derivation of name:  nephros: kidney, lepis: scale; refers to the kidney-shaped, scale-like indusia.

Worldwide: c. 30 species, pantropical distribution.



We have 6 taxa in the database for Nephrolepis.

  • Nephrolepis acutifolia (Desv.) H. Christ
  • Nephrolepis biserrata (Sw.) Schott
  • Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.)C.Presl. var. cordifolia
  • Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.)C.Presl. var. pumicicola (F.Ballard) Hovenkamp & Miyam.
  • Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott
  • Nephrolepis undulata (Afzel.) J. 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.