Dryopteris - Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris manniana (Hook.) C. Chr.

Photo: JE. Burrows






Polypodium mannianum Hook.
Phegopteris manniana (Hook.) Kuhn
Dryopteris raynalii Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome erect to suberect, up to 20 mm in diameter; rhizome scales brown, up to 22 x 3 mm, narrowly lanceolate in outline, margin entire with short marginal outgrowths. Fronds tufted, arching, 4-7 per plant, to 1 m long, herbaceous, with proliferating buds on the rhachis near the apex of the frond. Stipe up to 48 cm long, straw-coloured, with scales similar to, but smaller than rhizome scales, mostly at the base. Lamina up to 39 × 26 cm, ovate to ovate-oblong in outline, 2-pinnatifid at the apex to 3-pinnatifid at the base, with a pinnatifid to lobed terminal segment and basal pair of pinnae not reduced and basiscopically developed, proliferous. Pinnae, up to 12 pairs, stalked, narrowly ovate to oblong-acuminate towards lamina apex, basal pinnae up to 25 x 9.5 cm. Ultimate lobes oblong, apex rounded, margin shallowly lobed to toothed, upper surface hairless, lower surface sparsely set with hairs and scales up to 2 mm long along veins. Rhachis set with a few hairlike scales at the axils of the pinnae. Sori small, round, c. 1.5 mm in diameter, up to 18 per lobe, inframedial on vein branches; exindusiate.


Can be separated from other species of Dryopteris by its gemmiferous fronds.


manniana: named after Gustav Mann, German botanist.


Shaded undergrowth of moist and riverine forests, often along streams.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



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  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 440. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2012) A revision of the fern genus Dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae) in sub-Saharan Africa.Phytotaxa, 70(1) Pages 77 - 81. (Includes a picture).
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