Pteris - Pteridaceae

Pteris dentata Forssk.

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Pteris arguta Aiton
Pteris flabellata Thunb.
Pteris dentata Forssk. var. flabellata (Thunb.) Runemark
Pteris ascensionensis Sw.
Pteris serrulata Forssk.

Common name

Description

Rhizome erect to procumbent, up to 10 mm in diameter; rhizome scales linear-lanceolate in outline, dark brown to blackish chestnut, shiny, up to 5 mm long. Fronds tufted, arching, herbaceous, up to 2.1 m high. Stipe up to 1.2 m long, strawcoloured, darker and with few scattered scales towards the base, glabrous. Lamina up to 1 × 0.8 m, deltoid to ovate in outline, usually 2- to 3-pinnatifid but variable, basal pinnae basiscopically developed. Pinnae narrowly oblong in outline, 5-24 x 1.5-7.5 cm; ultimate lobes linear to oblong-triangular, apices toothed, base unequally united to the costa, margins toothed except for the fertile lobes which have entire margins along the sori; veins free, no veins anastomosing below the sinus; glabrous on both surfaces, spines present at the vein junctions on the uppersurface only. Rhachis strawcoloured, glabrous, smooth. Sori linear, continuous, marginal; indusia entire, membranous.

Notes

Can be distinguished from Pteris buchananii which has a widely creeping rhizome and anastomosing veins below the sinus; Pteris catoptera and Pteris friesii have ultimate lobes with entire apex margins.

Derivation

dentata: toothed, referring to the serrate margins of the ultimate lobes of the lamina.

Habitat

Grassland, upland bamboo forest, montane rain forest, often by stream sides, also old rubber plantations, bare slopes of landslips and on trunks of oil palms.

Distribution worldwide

Africa and Arabia, Fernando Po, Ascension I., St. Helena, Cape Verde Is., Mascarene Is. and Madagascar

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco and Western Sahara, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 160 - 161. (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 320 - 321. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 239 - 240. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 69.
  • 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 171 - 172.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 79. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 117 - 118.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Pteridaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 22 - 23. (Includes a picture).
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