Stenochlaena - Blechnaceae

Stenochlaena tenuifolia (Desv.) T. Moore

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa






Lomaria tenuifolia Desv.
Acrostichum tenuifolium (Desv.) Baker
Polybotrya tenuifolia (Desv.) Kuhn
Lomaria meyeriana Kunze
Lomariobotrys meyerianus (Kunze) Fée
Stenochlaena mildbraedii Brause

Common name


Rhizome up to 20 m long and 1-2 cm in diameter, creeping along the ground or ascending trees; rhizome scales sparse, thick, entire, dark brown, awl-shaped, non persistent, 1-5 mm long. Fronds dimorphic, up to 4 m long, firmly membranous, arching, widely spaced. Stipe up to 150 x 1.5-2 cm long, pale (reddish) brown, grooved on the upper side, glabrous. Sterile lamina imparipinnate, ovate-oblong in outline, 0.5-2 × 0.2-0.7 m; pinnae about 20 alternate pairs, linear-lanceolate, glabrous, shortly petiolate, apex pointed, base unequally cuneate, margins minutely serrate, 15-35 × 2-3.9 cm. Fertile lamina 2-pinnate or rarely pinnate, usually slightly shorter than the sterile lamina, with 25-30 pairs of lateral pinnae; pinnae petiolate, up to 25 cm long, about 4 cm apart, pinnately divided into very irregular narrowly linear segments, up to 8 x 0.2 cm, adnate to the rhachis or petiolate at the base, glabrous above, completely covered with sporangia below, sori exindusiate.



tenuis: thin, folia: leaves; slender-leaved referring to the linear pinnae of the fertile frond.


Swamp forest, and swampy stream bottoms, mixed evergreen forest, also fringing forest, low altitude.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Galego I., Comoro Isl., Mauritius.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 336. (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 726 - 727. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 471 - 473. (Includes a picture).
  • Lawalrée, A. (1971) Blechnaceae.Flore du Congo, du Rwanda et du Burundi, Pages 2 - 3.
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  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 156.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 240 - 242. (Includes a picture).
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 353 - 354. (Includes a picture).