Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes multifida (Sw.) Sw.

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Adiantum multifidum Sw.
Cheilanthes bolusii Baker
Adiantum globatum Poir.
Cheilanthes multifida (Sw.)Sw. subsp. lacerata N.C.Anthony & Schelpe
Cheilanthes multifida (Sw.)Sw. var. flexa Kunze

Common name

Description

Rhizome short, creeping, up to 4 mm in diameter; rhizome scales awl-shaped, margin (sub)entire, 4-7.5 mm long, brown with pale margins. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, 14-100 cm tall, erect, rigid, herbaceous to coriaceous. Stipe up to 42 cm long, dark brown to almost black, shiny, shallowly grooved, glabrous but with brown narrow scales at the extreme base. Lamina 3-pinnate to 5-pinnatifid, ovate-deltate in outline, lowest pinnae together almost as long as the lamina, basiscopically developed, 5-58 × 2.5-32 cm; pinnae in 5-12 pairs, oblong-ovate in outline, 2-19 x 1-12 cm; pinnules in 6-8 pairs, triangular-oblong to deltate-lanceolate in outline, 0.5-4.5 x 0.4-1.7 cm; ultimate segments oblong-ovate in outline, apex rounded, margin crenate, 0.2-1.5 x 0.1-0.7 cm, both surfaces subglabrous; venation visible or obscure, free; rhachis and secondary rhachises castaneous to black, hairless. Sori small, round, marginal, discrete; indusium small, semicircular, pale, erose to lacerate, membranous.

Notes

Could be confused with C. bergiana or C. pentagona. C. bergiana is lightly hairy, has underground stolons and is a forest species. C. pentagona differs in having reddish-brown rhizome scales, a lamina that is less dissected (3- or 4-pinnatifid), pentagonal in outline and with visible venation.
Two subspecies may be distinguished depending on whether the indusium is erose (subsp. multifida) or lacerate (subsp. lacerata).

Derivation

rmultifida: with many divisions, referring to the finely divided lamina.

Habitat

In a variety of dry and wet habitats, but nearly always in rocky places; in rock crevices and around boulders in grassland, margins of sheetrock, forest margins in high rainfall areas.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, St. Helena.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Dem. Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 150 - 152. C. multifida subsp. multifida and subsp. lacerata (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 400 - 403. C. multifida subsp. multifida and subsp. lacerata (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 264 - 266. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 51.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 65.
  • 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 183 - 184.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 123.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Adiantaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 32 - 33. As Cheilanthes multifida (Sw.) Sw. subsp. lacerata N.C.Anthony & Schelpe
  •