Amauropelta - Thelypteridaceae

Amauropelta oppositiformis (C. Chr.) Holttum






Thelypteris oppositiformis (C. Chr.) Ching
Thelypteris strigosa sensu Schelpe
Dryopteris oppositiformis C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome short erect; rhizome scales up to 4 mm long, narrowly ovate in outline, entire, brown. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, erect to arching, not proliferous, herbaceous. Stipe up to 33 cm long, matt to dark brown, with minute white hairs. Lamina 2-pinnatifid, narrowly oblong-lanceolate to elliptic in outline, lower pinnae gradually reduced and widely spaced, with usually 3-7 lowest pinnae much reduced, auriculate, 30-90 × 3.5-21 cm; pinnae narrowly oblong-lanceolate, 2.5-12 × 0.3-1.8 cm; upper surface with short, white hairs, lower surface subglabrous but with distinctive yellowish or reddish glands particularly along the veins and the costules; ultimate lobes oblong to linear-oblong, apex rounded to acute, margins entire, 8 x 2-3 mm; veins 6-7 pairs, not meeting the veins of the adjacent lobes; rhachis pale brown, thinly set with minute pale hairs. Sori up to 8 per lobe; exindusiate or indusia small, with short white hairs, very quickly falling of.


A. bergiana resembles A. oppositiformis but has hooked hairs on lower surface of lamina and a minute indusium without glands but with minute hairs.
A. oppositiformis look for: straight hairs, golden to red glands on lower surface of lamina, exindusiate or indusia falling of early, basal pinnae gradually decrescent becoming increasingly auricled, veins of pinnae lobes not meeting below sinus.


oppositiformis: formed opposite; refers to the opposite position of the pinnae.


Along moist streambanks, swamps, in wet places in montane grassland, Olea-Juniperus forest, Erica forest, bamboo forest, rock ledges on cliff, full sun or shade.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Réunion.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 270. As Thelypteris oppositiformis (C.Chr.) Ching (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 698 - 699. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 384. (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 200.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 116.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 193. As Thelypteris strigosa (Willd.) Tardieu
  • Verdcourt, B (2006) Thelypteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 6 - 8. (Includes a picture).