Hymenophyllum - Hymenophyllaceae

Hymenophyllum splendidum Bosch

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: JE. Burrows






Sphaerocionium splendidum (Bosch) Copel.
Hymenophyllum ciliatum Sw. var. splendidum (Bosch) C. Chr.

Common name


Rhizome wiry, widely creeping, branched, densely hairy with red-brown, long-armed stellate hairs to 1 mm. Fronds pendulous, spaced apart (up to 6 cm). Stipe slender, up to 3.5(-10) cm long, set with stellate, pale brown hairs, sometimes winged in the upper 1/4. Lamina dark green turning brown, long and narrow, narrowly lanceolate to linear in outline, 8-45 × 1.7-6 cm, 2-pinnatifid, membranous. Pinnae in 8-24 pairs, rhomboid-oblong in outline, to 3 x 1.2 cm, angled forward at c. 45 degrees, unequally dichotomously branched into c. 6-15 lobes. Lobes linear, to 2.5 mm wide, apex rounded, both surfaces with pale brown, stalked, stellate hairs along the axes and margins, venation simple. Rhachis winged, bearing stellate hairs. Sori terminal on the distal lobes of each pinna, 1-1.6 mm in diameter; indusial valves ciliate with branched hairs; receptecle included.



splendidum: splendid, striking; alluding to the handsome appearance of this fern.


Moist forest, sheltered rock face in moist ravine in evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Hymenophyllaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 2 - 3. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 100. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 44. As Sphaerocionium splendidum
  • 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 46 - 47.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 76 - 77. (Includes a picture).
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Page 58. (Includes a picture).