Microsorum - Polypodiaceae

Microsorum pappei (Mett. ex Kuhn) Ching






Polypodium normale sensu Sim
Polypodium pappei Mett. ex Kuhn
Polypodium normale D.Don var. madagascariense Baker

Common name


Rhizome widely creeping, up to 4 mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, ovate-lanceolate, margins entire, tapering to a point, c. 35 mm long. Fronds spaced apart (to 3 cm), simple, firmly membranous, glabrous. Stipe up to 15 cm long, pale green, glabrous except for a few dark brown scales near the base. Lamina up to 40 × 8 cm, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate in outline, entire to weakly wavy, margins slightly inrolled, apex tapering to a point, base narrowly wedge-shaped to tapering, midrib prominent on both surfaces, venation anastomosing with included veinlets. Sori round, 1-3 mm in diameter, scattered irregurly between the midrib and halfway to the margin, exindusiate, without paraphyses.



pappei: named after C.W.L. Pappe (1803-1862), German botanist, author of Synopsis filicum Africae australis in 1858 together with R.W.Rawson.


Deep shade in moist evergreen forest, often riverine.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 199. (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 548 - 549. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 313 - 314. (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 160.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 101. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 158. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2001) Polypodiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 22 - 24. (Includes a picture).