Pseudocyclosorus - Thelypteridaceae

Pseudocyclosorus pulcher (Willd.) Holttum

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Thelypteris longicuspis (Baker) Schelpe
Thelypteris pulchra (Bory ex Willd.) Schelpe
Pseudocyclosorus pulcher (Bory ex Willd.) Holttum

Common name


Rhizome erect, sometimes forming a caudex up to c. 30 cm high; rhizome scales up to 5 mm long, light brown, ovate, almost entire, pointed. Fronds tufted, arching, not proliferous, coriaceous. Stipe up to 70 cm long from the base to the first large pinnae, matt brown, thinly set with minute white hairs. Lamina up to 1.6 × 0.66 m, lanceolate-oblong in outline, deeply 2-pinnatifid, apex pointed, abruptly decrescent towards the base into a long series of strongly reduced pinnae. Pinnae linear-oblong, ultimate lobes oblong, slightly falcate,entire; upper surface densely hairy along the costae with white hairs, sparsely on the veins, under surface sparsely glandular with scattered, pale hairs; veins not meeting below or in the sinus. Rhachis pale brown, hairless. Sori round, up to 25 per lobe, halfway between costule and margin, almost reaching the top of each lobe; indusia subcircular to reniform, lacerate, glandular.


Pseudocyclosorus pulcher look for: erect rhizome, basal pinnae abruptly reduced into a series of small vestigial pinnae, veins not meeting in or at the sinus.


pulcher: beautiful, handsome


Shaded moist forest floors and next to streams.

Distribution worldwide

Sudan, E. and W. tropical Africa, S. Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarenes.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 261. As Thelypteris pulchra (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 678 - 679. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 385 - 386. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 115.
  • 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 209.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 192. As Thelypteris longicuspis (Includes a picture).