Vittaria - Adiantaceae

Vittaria elongata Sw.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: . ©Botanic Garden Meise (BR)






Oetosis elongata (Sw.) Greene
Vittaria hildenbrandtii Hieron.
Vittaria stuhlmannii Hieron.

Common name


Rhizome creeping, branched, 3 mm diameter; rhizome scales very dark brown, 3.6 to 6 mm long, lanceolate, clathrate, hairpointed. Fronds numerous, spaced at 3-20 mm intervals, thinly coracious, hanging. Stipe up to 7 cm long, pale green to strawcoloured when dry. Lamina 20-120 × 0.5-1.3 cm, linear and narrowed into wiry stipe, apex rounded, mucronate, with a hydathode at the tip. Midrib and veins obscure. Sori marginal in a groove formed by two narrow indusialike flanges of the lamina rim. Paraphyses articulated, simple, apical cell turbinate.


V.elongata differs from other species by having strictly marginal sori and relatively broad fronds.


elongata: long, lengthened: referring to the long linear fronds.


Low-altitude rain forest, Riparian forest.

Distribution worldwide

Comoro Isl., Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Pemba, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, India and Sri Lanka to Philippines, Polynesia.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 111 - 112. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 215 - 216. (Includes a picture).
  • 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 73.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 83.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 96. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Vittariaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 6. (Includes a picture).