Adiantum - Adiantaceae

Adiantum hispidulum Sw. var. hispidulum

Photo: NR. Crouch

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows

Photo: JE. Burrows






Adiantum lindsaea Cav.
Adiantum lobatum Kunze ex Ettingsh.

Common name


Rhizome short, erect to creeping, 1-2 mm in diameter; rhizome scales reddish to dark brown, entire, lanceolate. Fronds tufted, erect. Stipe up to 30 cm long, thin, chestnut-brown to black, shining, covered with short, brown, stiff hairs, brown scales scattered near base. Lamina deltate in outline, 24 × 20 cm, undersurfaces covered with short white hairs, pedately or repeatedly dichotomously divided into up to 8 (7-15) pinnate pinnae. Pinnae up to 15 cm long, longest in the centre, the others decreasing outwards. Rhachis with bristly hairs. Pinnules numerous, persistent, 5-17 × 3-8 mm, subrhombic to rectangular becoming smaller toward the pinna apex. Pinnules with short petiole (0.5-1 mm long), pale hairs along the margin, upper and outer margins irregularly toothed, lower margin entire and ascending. Sori numerous, rounded, on pinnule lobes on the upper and outer margin of the undersurface of a hairy indusial flap.


A. hispidulum is pedately or unequaly dichotoom divided. It can be distinguished from A. patens which is glabrous and has a broad terminal segment at the end of each segment.


hispidulum: covered with minute stiff erect hairs


Around boulder basis in woodland or banks, grassy places, rocky areas and near waterfalls in forest.

Distribution worldwide

Southern and East Africa; also Indian Ocean Islands, Azores (naturalized), India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Norfolk I., New Zealand, Polynesia.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 122. (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 428 - 429. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 228. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 75.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 111 - 112. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Adiantaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 59 - 60.