Pteris - Pteridaceae

Pteris linearis Poir.






Pteris nemoralis Bory ex Willd.
Pteris normalis D.Don
Pteris hildebrandtii sensu Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome erect; rhizome scales linear-lanceolate in outline, ± 5 mm long, with dark shiny centre stripe and pale margins. Fronds tufted, 1–2 m tall. Stipe straw-coloured, dull pale brown to reddish and with scattered scales near base, 50–80 cm long. Lamina ± oblong in outline, 60–70 × 35 cm, pinnate with lower pinnae branched near base; upper pinnae in 6–15 pairs, narrowly oblong in outline, 8–30 × 2–6 cm, apex usually abruptly ending in a long tail-like tip, sterile margins entire; ultimate segments in 15–30 pairs, narrowly oblong or ± curved like a sickle, 0.8–3.5 cm long, 4–8 mm wide, apex rounded, sometimes ± glandular beneath; veins joined only at base of sinus, the areoles broadly triangular bordered by the costa of the pinna; costa above with spinules at junction with costulae. Sori up to 3 cm long, occupying up to 5/6th of length of segments.


This species can be recognized by a pinnate lamina with branched lower pinnae near base, anastomising veins and rounded entire apices of pinna lobes.


linearis: linear


On riverbanks near waterfalls, places moist at least during the rains and shaded by the fringing trees.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoro Isl., Madagascar, Réunion, Azia

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Pages 70 - 71.
  • 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 174.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 81.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 163 - 164. (Includes a picture).
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 111 - 112. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Pteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 24.