Bolbitis - Lomariopsidaceae

Bolbitis gemmifera (Hieron.) C. Chr.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: C. Jongkind






Leptochilus gemmifer Hieron.
Acrostichum punctatum L.f. var. angolense Welw. ex Carruth.
Campium gemmifrum (Hieron.) Copel.
Bolbitis guineensis Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome creeping, 4-7 mm thick; rhizome scales dark brown to black, apex tapering to a point, margin subentire with irregular small teeth, opaque to (sub)clathrate, c. 3-4 mm long, deltate-lanceolate in outline. Fronds spaced apart, dimorphous, 20-95 cm long. Sterile frond: stipe 10-45 cm long, light to medium brown, with few scattered scales, denser towards the base; lamina imparipinnate, gemmiferous below apical pinnule, 20-45 × 10-30 cm, ovate in outline; pinnae (4-)7-10(-12) pairs, 10-18 x 2-4.4 cm, elliptic - lanceolate, base slightly asymmitrical, apex pointed, margins wavy to coarsely crenate, glabrous; veins netted with very few included veinlets recurrent and excurrent. Fertile frond: stipe 20-50cm long, lamina pinnate, 15-35 × 7-15 cm; pinnae 5-8.6 x 0.8-1.2 cm, bud occasionally at base of terminal pinnae. Sporangia covering the lower surface of the pinnae.


Bolbitis gemmifera is distinct by its having a bud at the base of the terminal pinna.


gemmifera: the species produces gemmae (little plantlets) near the top of the frond.


Deeply shaded forest floor in moist forest and margins of swamp forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 294 - 296. (Includes a picture).
  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 4 - 6. (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 115.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 147.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 320 - 322. (Includes a picture).