Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes bergiana Schltdl.

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten






Hypolepis bergiana (Schltdl.) Hook.
Cheilanthes elata Kunze
Notholaena streetiae Baker
Cheilanthes streetiae (Baker) Baker

Common name


Rhizome erect or shortly creeping, up to 10 mm in diameter, producing underground stolons that give rise to new plants at their tips; rhizome scales lanceolate in outline, margin (sub)entire, 4-9 x 0.7 mm, dark brown with pale brown margins. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, erect to arching, 30-100 cm long, herbaceous. Stipe up to 65 cm long, chestnut to dark brown, densely set with short, brown hairs and with narrow scales at the extreme base. Lamina 3-pinnate to 5-pinnatifid, roughly pentagonal to triangular in outline, lower pinnae basiscopically developed, 2/3-3/4 the length of the lamina, upper pinnae less divided, 11-45 × 10-50 cm; pinnules shortly petiolate, deltate-lanceolate in outline; ultimate segments oblong-lanceolate in outline, up to 4 x 2 mm, decurrent, rounded, venation free, both surfaces lightly set with short hairs up to 1 mm long; rhachis, costae and costules thinly pubescent. Sori marginal, small, less than 1 mm in diameter, discrete; indusium small, lunate, (sub)entire, membranous.


Could be confused with C. multifida or C. pentagona, but these species are (sub)-glabrous, do not have underground stolons and do not occur in forests.


bergiana: named after C.H.Bergius (1790-1818), German collector in the Cape.


Wet forest floors and forest edges in intermediate to montane evergreen and mist forest, deep shade, often riverine or in grassy glades, also Cypress plantations, sometimes on dead logs.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



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  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Adiantaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 34 - 35.