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 lanceolate in outline, entire, reddish to dark brown. Fronds monomorphic, 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; pinnules numerous, persistent, subrhombic to rectangular becoming smaller toward the pinna apex, 5-17 × 3-8 mm, 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; rhachis with bristly hairs. 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.