Dryopteris - Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris kilemensis (Kuhn) Kuntze

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: JE. Burrows






Aspidium kilemense Kuhn
Nephrodium kilemense (Kuhn) Baker
Nephrodium lastii Baker
Aspidium lastii (Baker) Hieron.
Dryopteris lastii (Baker) C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome creeping, becoming erect at the growing tip, up to 15 mm in diameter; rhizome scales pale brown to rust coloured, narrowly lanceolate, up to 30 x 4 mm, margin entire or with a few filiform outgrowth near the apex. Fronds tufted, arching, herbaceous, up to 1.5 m long. Stipe up to 120 cm long, chestnut coloured near the base, pale brown higher up, subglabrous, with brown, ovate scales near the base, up to 40 x 9 mm. Lamina up to 1.2 × 0.8 m, ovate to triangular in outline, 4-pinnatifid to 4-pinnate on the basiscopically developed basal pinnae. Pinnules ovate to oblong, deeply pinnatifid into oblong, rounded ultimate lobes with serrate margins. Rhachis pale brown, becoming narrowly winged towards apex, with sparse scales similar to, but smaller than those on stipe; costae and costules with a few small ovate scales. Sori round, c. 1 mm in diameter; indusia round, membranous, entire.


Can be seperated from other species by its broader and more finely dissected frond, smaller pinnules and ovate scales on the costules.


kilemensis: Kilema; type locality in Tanzania.


Deeply shaded forest floors amongst undergrowth in evergreen mist forest, swamp forests, bamboo and giant heath zone.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

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

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 303 - 304. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 438 - 439. (Includes a picture).
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  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 222 - 223.