Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium theciferum (Kunth) Mett.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Davallia concinna Schrad.
Loxoscaphe theciferum (Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth) T.Moore subsp. concinnum (Schrad.) Pic.Serm.
Asplenium theciferum (Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth) Mett. var. concinnum (Schrad.) Schelpe
Loxoscaphe theciferum (Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth) T.Moore var. concinnum (Schrad.) Kuhn
Davallia campyloneura Kunze
Loxoscape concinnum (Schrad.) T.Moore
Asplenium concinnum (Schrad.) Kuhn.
Asplenium theciferum sensu Sim
Asplenium theciferum (Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth) Mett. subsp. concinnum (Schrad.) Bonap.

Common name


Rhizome erect, up to 12 mm in diameter; scales dark brown, lanceolate, apex gradually tapering to a point, margin ciliate, 3-7 mm long. Fronds tufted, not proliferous, fleshy. Stipe up to 18 cm, set with few brown lanceolate scales 1-2.5 mm long, becoming subglabrous with age, narrowly winged. Lamina 9-26 cm × 2.5-7 cm, 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, narrowly oblong-elliptic to lanceolate in outline, basal pinnae hardly reduced, dull green in colour. Pinnae 10-17 pairs, alternate, angled upwards, oblong to narrowly oblong-obtuse in outline, divided into linear-spathulate lobes, with the costa winged, glabrous or with few scales like those on stipe to 1.5 mm long. Rhachis winged. Sori up to 2 x 2 mm, bulbous, oblong to circular, terminal on or just below the apex of the ultimate lobes, set off-centre, each lobe carries a single sorus, indusium oblong to broadly oblong, membranous, entire, to 1 mm wide.


Confusion with A. rutifolium; A. theciferum has sori born on the tips of the ultimate lobes, a narrowly winged stipe and a thinner rhizome.


-theca: capsule bearing, referring to the terminal structure of the bulbous sorus;
connicum: pretty, elegant, referring to the pleasant look of this fern.


Deeply shaded moist evergreen forest, sometimes in woodland or thicket.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoro Isl., Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 55. As Asplenium theciferum var. concinnum (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 238. (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 632 - 633. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda.Phytotaxa, 608 (1) Pages 45 - 46.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 378 - 379. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Pages 103 - 104.
  • 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 98.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Pages 171 - 172.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 188. (Includes a picture).