Lindsaea - Lindsaeaceae

Lindsaea odorata Roxb.

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: P. Ballings






Lindsaea cultrata sensu Cordem.
Lindsaea cultrata auct., non (Willd.) Sw.

Common name


Rhizome creeping, thin, 1-2 mm in diameter; rhizome scales lanceolate in outline, shiny brown, with long drawn out point, up to 2 mm long. Fronds spaced 2-9 mm apart, erect, herbaceous, glabrous. Stipe dark brown, shiny, up to 5 cm long, grooved, glabrous except for some scales near the base. Lamina narrowly lanceolate-elliptic in outline, up to 20 × 3 cm, pinnate, lower pinnae reduced. Pinnae rhombic, petiolate, lower margin entire, upper margin lobed. Rhachis brown, grooved above, glabrous. Sori (sub)marginal, oblong, on pinna lobes; indusia oblong, opening outwards, covering the entire sorus up to the edge of the lobes.


May be confused with Adiantum incisum which has proliferous fronds, minute hairs on the pinnae, an erect rhizome. Adiantum incisum does not smell of almonds.


odorata: odorous, fragrant; the fresh fronds have a strong almond smell when crushed.


Riverine forest, moss-covered boulders in or along mountain streams and rivers, in areas where it is periodically submerged during floods in summer, exposed or lightly shaded.

Distribution worldwide

Paleotropic distribution, mainly in tropical Azia, also Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, Zimbabwe.

Distribution in Africa

Mozambique, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 182. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 295 - 296. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 95.
  • 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 143.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 139 - 141.