Athyrium - Woodsiaceae

Athyrium schimperi Moug. ex Fée

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: BT. Wursten
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Asplenium schimperi (Moug. ex Fée) A. Braun
Athyrium solenopteris (Kunze) T.Moore var. madagascarica Bonap.

Common name

Description

Rhizome creeping and branching, 5-8 mm in diameter; rhizome scales lanceolate in outline, apex slowly tapering to a point, margin entire, up to 7 mm long, reddish-brown. Fronds monomorphic, closely spaced, erect, up to 1m tall, herbaceous. Stipe up to 38 cm long, sparsely set with long, pale brown, hair-like scales, more dense so towards the base, straw coloured to pale green, pink on new fronds. Lamina 3-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate, narrowly elliptic to ovate-lanceolate in outline, 23-70 cm × 8-28 cm, lower 4-5 pairs of pinnae reduced in size; pinnae 6-20 pairs, lanceolate in outline, widest at the base, apex tapering to a point, 4-18 x 1.5-5 cm, alternate, set at 80-90° to the rhachis; pinnules 7-18 pairs, unequaly ovate to narrowly oblong in outline, about twice as long as broad, with acroscopic lobe often enlarged, glabrous on both surfaces, margin deeply pinnatifid to sharply serrate-dentate lobes; rhachis pale brown, hairless but with few hairlike scales at the base of the pinnae. Sori 1-7 per pinnule lobe and 14-70 per pinnule, 0.8-1.5 mm, curved, elliptic to J-shaped; indusium pale brown, erose and membranous.

Notes

Could be confused with A. newtonii, which is a forest species with an erect rhizome and basal pinnae that are not or slightly reduced. Also resembles A. crassicaule which has a branched rhizome with a series of short erect caudices and basal pinnae that are only slightly reduced.

Derivation

schimperi: named after W.P. Schimper (1804-1878), German bryologist who first collected this species.

Habitat

Rock overhangs, earth banks of shaded ravines, rock crevices, sometimes among boulders near streams, exposed or light shade in montane grassland.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, India.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 273. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 714 - 715. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 404. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 105.
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 214.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 137.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 202 - 204. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2003) Woodsiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 8 - 10. (Includes a picture).
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