Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes eckloniana (Kunze) Mett.






Notholaena eckloniana Kunze
Notholaena krebsiana C. Presl.

Common name


Rhizome creeping or ascending, c. 6 mm in diameter; rhizome scales narrowly lanceolate in outline, dark brown with pale entire margin. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, erect, up to 45 cm (in shade), averaging 30 cm, rigid, coriaceous. Stipe shiny, up to 26 cm long, on the whole as long as the lamina, dark brown, thickly set with pale brown to cream, hair-like scales and larger, lanceolate, brown scales with cream margins, giving the stipe a sand-coloured appearance. Lamina 2-pinnatifid to 3-pinnatifid on the basiscopically developed basal pinnae, which are slightly or not reduced, lanceolate-ovate to narrowly oblong in outline, 6.5-24.5 cm × 2-6 cm; pinnae deltate in outline, frequently curved, curling up when dry, up to 6 cm long, upper surface dark green, lightly set with white, hair-like scales, undersurface more densely set with hairs, mixed with distinctive, overlapping, shiny golden brown scales along the costae and costules; rhachis dark brown, hairy and scaly. Sori small, marginal, interrupted; indusium very small, membranous or absent.


Could be confused with C. inaequalis var. buchananii or C. inaequalis var. inaequalis but none of these have the shiny golden-brown scales along the costae and costules, and with both the basal pinnae are the largest and not reduced.


eckloniana: named after C.F. Ecklon (1795-1868), Danish pharmasist, botanist and plant collector, one of the earliest explorers of the Cape.


Shallow soils on sheetrock, boulder bases and in montane grassland.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 130 - 132. (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 342 - 343. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 256. (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 181.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 62.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 125.