Hypolepis - Dennstaedtiaceae

Hypolepis sparsisora (Schrad.) Kuhn

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: JE. Burrows

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Hypolepis anthriscifolia (Schltdl.) C. Presl
Cheilanthes sparsisora Schrad.
Cheilanthes aspera Kaulf.
Cheilanthes commutata Kunze
Hypolepis aspera (Kaulf.) C.Presl

Common name


Rhizome widely creeping, subterranean, up to 5-9 mm in diameter; rhizome hairs pale brown, c. 1 mm long. Fronds widely spaced, finely divided, glabrous, erect. stipe up to 1 m long, glabrous at maturity, pale brown. Lamina 1 × 0.8 m, ovate in outline, 3- to 5-pinnatifid. Pinnae spreading horizontally, ovate-deltate in outline; ultimate pinnules oblong-lanceolate in outline, apex pointed, margins crenate to pinnatifid with bases joined to the costules. Rhachis pale-brown, glabrous. Sori small, 0.5-1 mm wide, oval, borne singly in the sinuses between the lobes; indusium subentire, elongate, semi-transparent.


Differs from other species by having a soft lamina texture and finely divided fronds (4- to 5-pinnatifid). Can be distinguished from Microlepia speluncae by having a glabrous lamina and pinna that are set at right angles to the rachis. Hypolepis sparsisora favours high-light conditions whereas Microlepia speluncea prefers shaded areas.


sparsisora: scattered, sparse sori; one thought that this species had fewer sori than most others in the genus.


In wet upland and evergreen forest that receives high rainfall and/or frequent mist, streamside and swampside forest and thicket, sometimes in gullies and in clearings with high light levels.

Distribution worldwide

Widespread in Africa and Madagascan region.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



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