Diplazium - Woodsiaceae

Diplazium nemorale (Baker) Schelpe






Asplenium nemorale Baker
Athyrium arborescens (Bory) Sw. var. nemorale (Baker) C.Chr.
Asplenium hylophilum Hieron.
Diplazium hylophilum (Hieron.) C.Chr.
Diplazium stolzii Brause

Common name


Rhizome erect, with a short caudex up to 20 × 7(-20) cm; rhizome scales 9 x 2-5 mm, shiny bronze-brown, the edges not or narrowly dark and with few undivided trichomes. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, arching, 0.5–1.8 m tall, firmly herbaceous. Stipe up to 1m long, brown, smooth except for a few scattered, linear, dark brown scales near the base. Lamina bipinnatifid to bipinnate in upper part, tripinnatifid below, ovate to roughly elliptic in outline, up to 1.5 × 0.9 m; apical segment 7–12 x 3.5–5 cm, attenuate and crenate at the tip, lobed beneath; pinnae in 10–15 pairs, the ± 5 below the apical segment pinnatifid, 9 x 2 cm, the lobes crenate; rest of pinnae oblong to oblong-ovate, pinnate, 20–50 x 3.5–22 cm, with (7–)10–16 pairs of pinnules; pinnules triangular-lanceolate in outline, 2.5–11.5 x 1–2.7 cm, shallowly to very deeply pinnatifid according to position, narrowly acuminate and crenulate at the apex; pinna-stalks 0–1.5(–3) cm long; veins in 5-8 pairs per lobe, pinnate, bifurcate; rhachis brown, subglabrous with few scattered, twisted, brown scales, particularly about the pinnule petioles. Sori 6-8 per lobe, linear, 2-4 mm long, basal acroscopic sori frequently arranged back to back; indusium brown, entire, membranous.


Could be confused with D. zanzibaricum which differs in having smaller and more sori per lobe and a stipe base that is densely set with hair-like scales.


nemorale: belonging to a grove or woodland


Deeply shaded streambanks in montane, evergreen, wet forests.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 278. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 408 - 410. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Pages 217 - 218.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 138.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 205. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2003) Woodsiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 19 - 20.