Lepisorus - Polypodiaceae

Lepisorus schraderi (Mett.) Ching

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Pleopeltis schraderi (Mett.) Tardieu
Polypodium schraderi Mett.
Niphobolus schraderi (Mett.) Keyserl.
Polypodium lineare Thunb. var. schraderi (Mett.) Sim
Phymatodes elongata (Schrad.) Pappe & Rawson
Polypodium gueinzii Mett.

Common name


Rhizome c. 2 mm in diameter, creeping, without a white waxy colouring; rhizome scales black, broadly ovate in outline, apex pointed, 2-3 mm long, with black central stripe extending to the apex. Fronds spaced apart (up to 1 cm), simple, thick and fleshy, tufted, evergreen. Stipe up to 6 cm long, strawcoloured, glabrous. Lamina up to 34 × 2.9 cm, narrowly elliptic, tapering to a point, base narrowly wedge-shaped, margins entire, glabrous on both surfaces at maturity. Sori round to oval, 2-6 mm in diameter, in a line on either side of the midrib in the upper half of the lamina, exindusiate, but with small paraphyses when young.


Can be distinguished from L. excavatus by having thick, evergreen fronds and a rhizome that lacks a white, waxy coating. Pleopeltis macrocarpa has small circular scales with dark centres on the undersurface of the lamina, these are not present in L. schraderi. Microgramma mauritiana has sori set on the lower part of the lamina (not the upper) and is glabrous.


schraderi: named after H.A. Schrader (1767-1836); former director of botanical garden in Goettingen Germany, botanist with special interest in ferns.


Evergreen forest or scrub, lower upland forest, cedar forest, in areas of high rainfall, mostly shaded.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 196. As Pleopeltis schraderi (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 556 - 557. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 308 - 309. As Pleopeltis schraderi (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 158.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 100. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 152. As Pleopeltis schraderi
  • Verdcourt, B. (2001) Polypodiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 20 - 21. (Includes a picture).