Huperzia - Lycopodiaceae

Huperzia saururus (Lam.) Trevis.

Photo: JE. Burrows
Malawi

Photo: JE. Burrows
Zimbabwe

Photo: JE. Burrows
Malawi

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Lycopodium saururus Lam.
Urostachys saururus (Lam.) Herter
Plananthus saururus (Lam.) P. Beauv.

Common name

Description

Horizontal stems compactly branched, with shallow roots; aerial stems erect, unbranched, 9-60 x 2 cm including the leaves. Foliage leaves 8-13 × 2 mm, closely overlapping, lanceolate to narrowly oblong-lanceolate in outline, entire, coriaceous, mid- to light green. Fertile portion not differentiated; sporophylls the same size and shape as the foliage leaves; sporangia yellow-brown, rounded-kidney shaped, 1.5-2 mm, hidden in the leaf axils at the end of the stem.

Notes

H. saururus is easily recognisable by its unbranched, erect stems that have an indistinct fertile portion; sporophylls similar to foliage leaves.

Derivation

saururus: lizard-like, referring to the scaly appearance of the stems.

Habitat

Rock crevices in montane areas, mossy, earth streambanks in montane forest, sphagnum swamps, boggy moorland, Hagenia forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoros, Réunion, Mauritius, Kerguelen Isl., Tristan da Cunha and St. Helena, Madagascar and the Andes in S America.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 12. (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 28 - 29. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 132 - 133. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 21.
  • 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 15.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 17.
  • Vercourt, B. (2005) Lycopodiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 3.
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