Blotiella - Dennstaedtiaceae

Blotiella natalensis (Hook.) R.M. Tryon

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo






Lonchitis natalensis Hook.
Lonchitis pubescens sensu Sim
Pteris natalensis (Hook.) Kuhn
Lonchitis pubescens Willd. ex Kaulf. var. nudiuscula Kunze

Common name


Rhizome erect, massive and woody, forms a caudex up to 20 cm in diameter. Fronds tufted or closely spaced, arching, up to 3 m long. Stipe up to 1 m, straw-coloured, sparsely set with short scales. Lamina up to 2 m long, lanceolate-ovate, narrowly oblong or triangular in outline, pinnate to 2-pinnate (to 3-pinnatifid) and hairy on both surfaces. Pinnae increasingly deeply incised from the apex to the base with shallowly lobed pinnules. Terminal pinna ± hastate, pinnatifid and terminal segments of lateral pinnae similar with ± 7 pairs of lobes; pinnae narrowly oblong to narrowly triangular in outline, (7.5–)18–31 x(1.5–)3–12 cm, stalked, deeply pinnatifid with lobes lanceolate-triangular in outline, up to ± 4 x 1 cm, narrowly joined at bases; in 2-pinnate fronds the pinnae have a deeply crenate terminal segment gradually passing into distinct pinnules which are narrowly triangular or lanceolate in outline, 4.5–7.5 x 1.5–2.2 cm, sessile, entire to wavy crenulate or pinnatifid; surfaces sparsely to densely set with adpressed hairs, the costa with short hairs even if surface glabrescent; rhachis hairy, becoming glabrous below. Sori circular to crescent-shaped, situated at the base of the sinuses between the pinnules, but in more dissected fronds also in shallow sinuses of lobed margins of pinnules or pinna-lobes, up to ± 10 per pinnule and in places sometimes appearing almost continuous; indusium present.


Differs from B. glabra by having an erect, stem-like rhizome and fronds that are up to 3 m long. Tectaria gemmifera has laminal sori and buds or plantlets on the rhachis or costae.


natalensis: of Natal, South Africa from where W.J. Hooker first described this fern in 1851.


Near shaded streambanks or in seepage zones in evergreen forest, streamside woodland, secondary vegetation in regenerating forest cleared two to three years previously.

Distribution worldwide

Widespread in Africa, also Madagascar, Comoro Isl., Seychelles and Mauritius.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Dem. Republic of Congo, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 100 - 102. (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 290 - 291. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 205 - 206. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 86.
  • 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 109.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 92.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 82 - 84.
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Dennstaedtiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 19 - 20.