Dicranopteris - Gleicheniaceae

Dicranopteris linearis (Burm. f.) Underw.

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: BT. Wursten
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Polypodium lineare Burm.f.
Gleichenia linearis (Burm.f.) C.B.Clarke
Mertensia linearis (Burm.f.) Fritsch
Polypodium dichotomum Thunb.
Gleichenia dichotoma (Thunb.) Hook.

Common name

Description

Rhizome widely creeping, brown, 1-5 mm in diameter, glabrous at maturity. Fronds spaced apart, bifurcate to reniform-lunate in outline. Stipe up to 1 m long, golden brown, glabrous. Lamina 2-3 times dichotomously divided with a pair of reduced pinnae present at each fork of the divisions; pinnae narrowly lanceolate, deeply pinnatifid, up to 12 x 4 cm. Pinnule lobes 15-30 (-50) × 5 mm, linear-oblong, glabrous on both surfaces, borne only on the ultimate branches, the other axes naked. Sori subcircular, c. 1 mm in diameter, arranged in two rows along the midrib of the pinnule lobes; exindusiate.

Notes

Differs from Sticherus umbraculiferus by having pinnules only on the distal lamina axes; differs from Gleichenia polypodioides by having superficial sori that are not sunken into the lamina and pinnules that are linear.

Derivation

linearis: linear, referring to the long pinnules.

Habitat

Along moist streambanks, forest margins and roadsides, in light shade or exposed.

Distribution worldwide

Widespread in tropical Africa, Madagascar, Comoro Isl., Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion and Asia to Australasia and Polynesia.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania , Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 54. (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 172 - 173. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 184 - 185. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Pages 74 - 75.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Pages 39 - 40. (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. Page 49.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 50 - 52. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2000) Gleicheniaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 6 - 8. (Includes a picture).
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